Layla Moran Portrait

Layla Moran

Liberal Democrat - Oxford West and Abingdon

First elected: 8th June 2017

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development)

(since September 2020)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

(since September 2020)

Down Syndrome Bill
19th Jan 2022 - 26th Jan 2022
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)
16th Jun 2017 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Aug 2019 - 6th Jan 2020
Public Accounts Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Tuesday 12th March 2024
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
12 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 30th April 2024
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
30 Apr 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (including Topical Questions)
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View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Scheduled Event
Friday 21st June 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Palestine Statehood (Recognition) Bill: Second Reading
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Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 11 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 286 Noes - 221
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
I have been listening very carefully to the way in which the right hon. Gentleman has been prosecuting the merits …
Written Answers
Thursday 8th February 2024
Beer: Excise Duties
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of increasing Draught Duty …
Early Day Motions
Monday 19th February 2024
Children's Mental Health Week 2024 in Oxfordshire
That this House recognises Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 which runs from 5-11 February; notes the importance of listening to …
Bills
Monday 11th December 2023
Palestine Statehood (Recognition) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Duncan Greenland
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …
EDM signed
Monday 5th February 2024
Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem
That this House is deeply alarmed by the attempted take-over of the Cows’ Garden in the Armenian Quarter of occupied …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 17th January 2024
Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to establish the right to breathe clean air; to require the Secretary of State to achieve and maintain …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Layla Moran has voted in 627 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Layla Moran Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(43 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
(24 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(23 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(50 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(34 debate contributions)
Home Office
(33 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Layla Moran's debates

Oxford West and Abingdon Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

The Government must exercise its power under s.23 of the Gender Recognition Act to modify the operation of the Equality Act 2010 by specifying the terms sex, male, female, man & woman, in the operation of that law, mean biological sex and not "sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate"

It has been reported that the Government may amend the Equality Act to "make it clear that sex means biological sex rather than gender." The Government has previously committed to not remove legal protections for trans people, an already marginalised group, but this change would do so.

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

Reform the GRA to allow transgender people to self-identify without the need for a medical diagnosis, to streamline the administrative process, and to allow non-binary identities to be legally recognised.

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.

The UK Government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law which targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Through this law or alternative means, this petition urges the UK Government to impose sanctions on China for their human rights violations on the Uyghur people.


Latest EDMs signed by Layla Moran

19th February 2024
Layla Moran signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Friday 9th February 2024

Children's Mental Health Week 2024 in Oxfordshire

Tabled by: Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat - Oxford West and Abingdon)
That this House recognises Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 which runs from 5-11 February; notes the importance of listening to children and young people in accordance with this year’s theme, My Voice Matters; celebrates and thanks Abingdon Bridge, Mental Health Natters, Abingdon Damascus Project, the Unicorn School, Oxfordshire Mind, Child …
2 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 2
26th January 2024
Layla Moran signed this EDM on Monday 5th February 2024

Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem

Tabled by: Chris Law (Scottish National Party - Dundee West)
That this House is deeply alarmed by the attempted take-over of the Cows’ Garden in the Armenian Quarter of occupied Jerusalem by illegal Israeli settler organisations; notes that, despite the cancellation of a lease agreement, Israeli settlers have used violence, threats and bulldozers against the Armenians at this site; recognises …
21 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 7
Labour: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Alliance: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Layla Moran's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Layla Moran, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


3 Urgent Questions tabled by Layla Moran

Thursday 6th July 2023
Wednesday 10th March 2021
Wednesday 13th May 2020

2 Adjournment Debates led by Layla Moran

Wednesday 24th February 2021

14 Bills introduced by Layla Moran


A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 17th March 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament an equalities impact assessment of the effects on women and girls of the decision not to spend 0.7% of UK gross national income on official development assistance in each financial year until that target is again reached.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to set up a register of overseas entities and their beneficial owners and require overseas entities who own land to register in certain circumstances.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 18th March 2022

A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 11th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 21st June 2024
Order Paper number: 2
(Likely to be Debated)

A Bill to make provision about the content and use of non-disclosure agreements; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 29th June 2022

A Bill to make provision about the commemoration of the Nakba; to require the Secretary of State to encourage and facilitate annual commemoration of the Nakba; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 15th May 2023

A Bill to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 18th March 2020

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish guidance for state-funded schools on allowing pupil access to toilets during lessons; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 3rd March 2020

A Bill to repeal section 15A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 22nd June 2020

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014 to further restrict the serving of foods high in fat, salt or sugar in schools and to require all school meals to be free of added sugar by 2022; to require all publicly-funded schools to adhere to those standards; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 22nd July 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require school uniform policies to be gender-neutral; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th March 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 21st November 2018

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. Repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 7th February 2018
(Read Debate)

40 Bills co-sponsored by Layla Moran

Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Caroline Lucas (Green)

Schools (Mental Health Professionals) (No. 2) Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Munira Wilson (LD)

Kinship Care Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Munira Wilson (LD)

Elected Representatives (Codes of Conduct) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Debbie Abrahams (Lab)

Clean Air Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (Ind)

Carers and Care Workers Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Helen Morgan (LD)

Fire and Building Safety (Public Inquiry) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Daisy Cooper (LD)

Multi-Academy Trusts (Ofsted Inspection) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Jonathan Gullis (Con)

Flexible Working Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tulip Siddiq (Lab)

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Pension Transfers (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Investigation) Bill Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - David Johnston (Con)

Sewage Discharges Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tim Farron (LD)

Climate Education Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Nadia Whittome (Lab)

Remote Participation in House of Commons Proceedings (Motion) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Dawn Butler (Lab)

Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
Sponsor - Mike Amesbury (Lab)

Environment (Regulation) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Tim Farron (LD)

Essay Mills (Prohibition) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Chris Skidmore (Con)

International Development (Women’s Sanitary Products) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Wendy Chamberlain (LD)

Remote Participation in House of Commons Proceedings Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Dawn Butler (Lab)

Parental Leave (Premature and Sick Babies) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - David Linden (SNP)

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Pension Transfers (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Investigation) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Lord Vaizey of Didcot (Con)

Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Louise Haigh (Lab)

Prime Minister (Confidence) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tom Brake (LD)

Plastic Pollution Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Alistair Carmichael (LD)

Gender-based Pricing (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christine Jardine (LD)

Access to Fertility Services Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Steve McCabe (Lab)

Plastics Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (Ind)

Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements (Publication) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Jo Swinson (LD)

Toilets (Provision and Accessibility) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Paula Sherriff (Lab)

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Welfare of Women) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Siobhain McDonagh (Lab)

House of Peers Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christine Jardine (LD)

Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tulip Siddiq (Lab)

European Union Withdrawal (Evaluation of Effects on Health and Social Care Sectors) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Brendan O'Hara (SNP)

Food Insecurity Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Emma Lewell-Buck (Lab)

Local Electricity Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Jeremy Lefroy (Con)

Local Health Scrutiny Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Gareth Snell (LAB)

Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Karen Lee (Lab)

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) (No.2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Conor McGinn (Ind)

Terminal Illness (Provision of Palliative Care and Support for Carers) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Bambos Charalambous (Ind)

Child Maintenance (Assessment of Parents' Income) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Heidi Allen (LD)

Voyeurism (Offences) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Wera Hobhouse (LD)


982 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
11 Other Department Questions
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with her counterparts and legislators in (a) Malta, (b) France, (c) Canada, (d) New Zealand, (e) Greece and the relevant regional or state governments of the (i) US, (ii) Spain and (iii) Australia on their legislation on banning conversion practices and their protection of transgender people.

The Government has engaged with a wide range of international counterparts including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Malta, to understand the approaches they have taken to ban conversion therapy. We will continue to engage with counterparts around the world that are committed to protecting everyone from conversion practices to share insight and develop our approach.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on banning sexual orientation and transgender conversion practices.

The Government has been liaising with territorial offices and the devolved administrations including the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on this important issue.

Officials will continue to work with their counterparts across the devolved administrations to discuss the UK Government’s approach to protecting everyone in England and Wales from conversion therapy practices.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations made by the Ending Conversion Practices Expert Advisory Group in Scotland on 4 October 2022.

The Government has been liaising with territorial offices and the devolved administrations including the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on this important issue.

Officials will continue to work with their counterparts across the devolved administrations to discuss the UK Government’s approach to protecting everyone in England and Wales from conversion therapy practices.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what work has been undertaken by her Department on transgender conversion practices since the Government set out its plans on this topic in its background briefing to the Queen’s Speech in May 2022.

Since May 2022, the Government has launched a support service open to all victims or those at risk of conversion practices regardless of their background or circumstances. The Government has committed up to £360,000 over three years to this service. The service includes a helpline, instant messaging service, and website to enable people to get the support they need.

More widely, the Government remains committed to protecting everyone from these practices. We are carefully considering the responses to the public consultation which closed earlier this year and will respond in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, which accredited medical, counselling or psychological organisations support the Government’s plan to exclude transgender people from a ban on conversion practices.

The Equality Hub Ministers and officials have met with healthcare professionals in developing the policy approach to protecting all individuals from conversion practices. Many such organisations responded to the public consultation that closed in February 2022.

We will continue to meet with healthcare professionals to inform our approach and will respond to the consultation in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the impact of the Government's proposed transportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda on meeting the UK's COP26 obligations.

The UK remains committed to honouring its obligations on climate change, including those contained in the Glasgow Climate Pact.


The UK continues to work closely with the Government of Rwanda on climate issues, including ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in June. We are also working in our COP Presidency year to help ensure the world stays on course to meet its commitments and maintains ambitious efforts to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the House of Commons Commission has discussed any plans for a commemoration for Members and staff as part of a memorial day for those who have lost their lives to covid-19.

The Commission has not considered this. However, the Speaker has asked the Speaker’s Chaplain to liaise with St Margaret’s Church to develop a memorial service for the parliamentary community to take part in for those who have lost their lives to Covid. The service will take place in autumn if public health advice continues to allow church services and gatherings at that point.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding tailored financial support for the wraparound holiday childcare sector to ensure women have adequate childcare support.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQs 147072 and 148867 answered on 22 February 2021.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
10th Feb 2021
What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on barriers to support for migrant women domestic abuse survivors.

This Government is committed to supporting all victims of domestic abuse, regardless of their immigration status. That is why, in December 2020, we launched a £1.5m support for Migrant Victims package, to provide access to safe accommodation and support for those with no recourse to public funds.

Throughout development of our scheme we have responded to concerns about potential barriers to support for migrant victims of domestic abuse, including by adapting the duration of the scheme and its linked prospectus.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
8th Jul 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the cost to the public purse was of (a) securing, (b) heating, and (c) lighting empty offices on the Parliamentary Estate while (a) staff and (b) hon. Members were instructed to work from home due to the covid-19 outbreak.

At all times the estate has been kept safe and secure and able to support Parliamentary business as required.

It is not possible to provide a specific breakdown of costs relating to empty offices during this period. The following comparison against a similar period last year has been produced. Reductions in usage may not be solely related to Covid-19.

March – May 2019

March – May 2020

Reduction (units)

Approx. Reduction (£)

Natural Gas kWh

8,560,187

6,670,501

1,889,686

£29,725

Electricity kWh

7,196,453

6,328,062

868,392

£95,459

Water m3

48,313

14,294

34,019

£63,490

£188,674

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Attorney General, when the Government last received a legal challenge from an international entity; and what the cost to the public purse was of defending that challenge.

There is a broad range of entities which might be described as “international”, and there is likely to be a range of ongoing litigation against the government (acting for the United Kingdom) brought by different entities at any given time, and at various stages of completion. Proceedings have recently been brought by the European Commission, and other States may take legal action against the UK under specific treaties.

Such cases are dealt with by government lawyers in the relevant departments and the Government Legal Department, with counsel or external law firms instructed through the Attorney General Panel system at fixed rates, or through off-panel nominations also at pre-agreed rates.

In relation to the proceedings recently brought against the UK by the European Commission, the matter is at an early stage and it is not possible to determine the costs incurred so far or what the costs of defending the challenge will ultimately be.

12th May 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what legal advice has she received on the Government’s proposals to adjust or remove the Northern Ireland Protocol.

It is a longstanding convention, accepted by governments of all parties, not to disclose whether the Attorney General has given legal advice or the contents of any advice. This extends to not commenting on the content of internal discussions in relation to the Attorney General’s function as a Law Officer and chief legal adviser to the Government. This convention protects the Law Officers’ ability to give full and frank legal advice on some of the most contentious and difficult issues the Government will be considering.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

Agreement for non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements are devolved to business units; the Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally. The Cabinet Office is, therefore, not able to respond due to the disproportionate cost of gathering this data.

The Cabinet Office follows the principles laid out in the Cabinet Office Guidance on Settlement Agreements, Special Severance Payments on Termination of Employment and Confidentiality Clauses which is published on the internet, when considering any settlement agreements.

The Government is clear that confidentiality clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of the (a) creation and (b) updating of the Retained EU law dashboard since its inception.

There has been no additional cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard. The process was led by the Cabinet Office, who commissioned Government Departments to find REUL within their jurisdiction and compile an authoritative account of where REUL sits on the UK statute book.

The dashboard itself is made by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted by Tableau, who allow public dashboards to be hosted for free. The dashboard will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, when he last had discussions with the Prime Minister of India.

I met Prime Minister Modi on 22 April 2022 during my visit to India. My statement from the joint press conference is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-at-press-conference-with-prime-minister-modi-22-april-2022

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, when he last had a telephone call with the President of Egypt.

I spoke to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on 28 March 2022. A readout is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-al-sisi-of-egypt-28-march-2022.

8th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the total value of service sector exports to the EU was in the county of Devon in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the hon. Member’s Parliamentary Questions of 8 June is attached.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has instructed No. 10 staff to preserve evidence for the inquiry into the Government's handling of the covid-19 outbreak.

All departments are aware that the Covid inquiry will bring with it substantial obligations to provide relevant records, information and data, and that preparation for the inquiry includes the need to ensure that no material of potential relevance to the inquiry is destroyed. The Cabinet Office raised this to the attention of all departments across Whitehall in June 2021 and again in February 2022.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he has ever claimed non-domiciled status.

No.

In relation to other Ministers of the Crown, I would add that Section 41 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 provides that all MPs and sitting peers are automatically deemed to be resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

10th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has purchased Pegasus software from NSO Group since 2016.

While we cannot comment on operational specifics, the UK’s intelligence agencies are governed by a robust regulatory framework to ensure our capabilities are always used in a way that is legal, necessary and proportionate - something we ask of all nations.

We continue to promote with our international partners the need for tighter export controls to ensure cyber capabilities are used legally and responsibly and do not threaten or undermine human rights.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, when he last held a bilateral call with President Biden on the situation in Ukraine.

I held a virtual meeting on Monday 24 January with President Biden and the leaders of Italy, Poland, France, Germany, the European Council, the European Commission and NATO to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Further details can be found on the gov.uk website.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has plans to bring forward proposals on retained EU law in spring 2022.

As set out in the Paymaster General’s Written Ministerial Statement of 9 December 2021, officials in the Cabinet Office are continuing to undertake two reviews into retained EU law, one into the substance of retained EU law and one into its status in law.

Any proposals for change will be finalised at the conclusion of the reviews. The Queen’s speech will set out the Government’s legislative programme in the normal way.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether her Department holds responsibility for the review of retained EU law following the resignation of Lord Frost.

The Brexit Opportunities Unit in the Cabinet Office is leading reviews of Retained EU law (REUL). The aim of these two reviews, into the substance and status of REUL, is to ensure that REUL - as established by the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 - does not stagnate on the UK statute book.

An announcement will be made in due course to confirm which Minister will lead these reviews, following the resignation of my Rt Hon Friend Lord Frost.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost of installing air filtration systems in Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street since March 2020.

The Cabinet Office, which includes the buildings in Downing Street, follows the appropriate Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance. This includes consideration of ventilation as part of any risk assessment. The HSE also provides guidance on this issue.

Air filtration units are one option (not a requirement) that may be used as a mitigation where it is not possible to improve poorly ventilated areas.

In that light, the Cabinet Office has not deemed it necessary, at this time, to install such systems. We will keep this matter under review.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many air filtration systems have been installed in Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street since March 2020; which rooms those systems have been installed in; and when they were installed.

The Cabinet Office, which includes the buildings in Downing Street, follows the appropriate Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance. This includes consideration of ventilation as part of any risk assessment. The HSE also provides guidance on this issue.

Air filtration units are one option (not a requirement) that may be used as a mitigation where it is not possible to improve poorly ventilated areas.

In that light, the Cabinet Office has not deemed it necessary, at this time, to install such systems. We will keep this matter under review.

23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many bedrooms are available for use at Chequers as at 23 September 2021.

Chequers is not a government building; it is run and managed by an independent trust.

As has been the practice under successive Premiers, the Prime Minister uses Chequers consistent with the wishes of the donor, the late Sir Arthur Lee, who gave it to the nation for the use of the Prime Minister. Chequers is available to Ministers for both official and private use.

Sir Arthur Lee’s wishes are set out in the Chequers Estate Acts 1917: “It is not possible to foresee or foretell from what classes or conditions of life the future wielders of power in this country will be drawn. Some may be as in the past men of wealth and famous descent; some may belong to the world of trade and business; others may spring from the ranks of the manual toilers. To none of these in the midst of their strenuous and responsible labours could the spirit and anodyne of Chequers do anything but good. In the city-bred man especially, the periodic contact with the most typical rural life would create and preserve a just sense of proportion between the claims of town and country. To the revolutionary statesman the antiquity and calm tenacity of Chequers and its annals might suggest some saving virtues in the continuity of English history and exercise a check upon too hasty upheavals, whilst even the most reactionary could scarcely be insensible to the spirit of human freedom which permeates the countryside of Hampden, Burke and Milton. Apart from these more subtle influences, the better the health of our rulers the more sanely will they rule and the inducement to spend two days a week in the high and pure air of the Chiltern hills and woods will, it is hoped, benefit the nation as well as its chosen leaders."

23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many days the Prime Minister has stayed at Chequers overnight in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021 to date.

Chequers is not a government building; it is run and managed by an independent trust.

As has been the practice under successive Premiers, the Prime Minister uses Chequers consistent with the wishes of the donor, the late Sir Arthur Lee, who gave it to the nation for the use of the Prime Minister. Chequers is available to Ministers for both official and private use.

Sir Arthur Lee’s wishes are set out in the Chequers Estate Acts 1917: “It is not possible to foresee or foretell from what classes or conditions of life the future wielders of power in this country will be drawn. Some may be as in the past men of wealth and famous descent; some may belong to the world of trade and business; others may spring from the ranks of the manual toilers. To none of these in the midst of their strenuous and responsible labours could the spirit and anodyne of Chequers do anything but good. In the city-bred man especially, the periodic contact with the most typical rural life would create and preserve a just sense of proportion between the claims of town and country. To the revolutionary statesman the antiquity and calm tenacity of Chequers and its annals might suggest some saving virtues in the continuity of English history and exercise a check upon too hasty upheavals, whilst even the most reactionary could scarcely be insensible to the spirit of human freedom which permeates the countryside of Hampden, Burke and Milton. Apart from these more subtle influences, the better the health of our rulers the more sanely will they rule and the inducement to spend two days a week in the high and pure air of the Chiltern hills and woods will, it is hoped, benefit the nation as well as its chosen leaders."

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179464, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the his Department's work to (a) address specific concerns from ethnic minority groups regarding coronavirus vaccines and (b) amplify NHS voices publicising the use of religious sites as vaccination centres to date.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 33512 on 21 April 2020, and to PQ 40655 on 11 May 2020.

Since the vaccination programme began, the Cabinet Office has worked closely with communications teams in local authorities to promote vaccine uptake, particularly to communities with lower vaccine take-up. Support has included the commissioning of translated materials, the deployment of upweighted advertising in specific areas, and the use of multi-lingual local community street teams to share information about the available vaccines.

Through the Community Champions scheme councils and voluntary organisations will deliver a wide range of measures to protect those most at risk - building trust, communicating accurate health information and ultimately helping to save lives. MHCLG has allocated over £23 million of funding to 60 councils and voluntary groups across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine uptake.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) civil servants who have been absent from work due to long covid and (b) working days that have been lost as a result since March 2020.

During the pandemic, employees (including civil servants) were advised to work from home where possible. From 19 July 2021, employees are no longer instructed to work from home and government departments, similar to other employers, are starting to plan for employees to gradually return to the workplace.

The Cabinet Office has not currently made any estimates of the number of civil servants who have been absent from work or working days lost due to long COVID across the Civil Service.

However, the Civil Service continues to improve its approach to health and wellbeing for all employees, assisting them to access the support they need. A range of best practice support is available including Occupational Health, Workplace Adjustments, Part Time on Medical Grounds and COVID-19 Supporting Attendance guidance.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs' Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on UK Official Development Assistance departmental allocations 2021-22, Official Report, HCWS935, how much of the Official Development Assistance funding allocated to the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund within Open societies and conflict resolution is allocated to (a) Ukraine, (b) Yemen, (c) Somalia, (d) Myanmar, (e) Afghanistan, (f) Sudan and (g) South Sudan.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs’ Written Ministerial Statement of 21 April 2021 sets out the FCDO departmental ODA programme budget allocations. It does not include Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) allocations.

The total CSSF allocation for Financial Year 2021/22 is £874m. CSSF regional and thematic level allocations for 2021/22 will be confirmed to Parliament in a Written Ministerial Statement later in the year.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 180587 on Prime Minister: Disclosure of Information, how many discussions he has had with leaders of other nations where a readout has (a) been and (b) not been provided to the media following the event.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, Prime Ministers will speak to their international counterparts on a range of issues. There will be occasions where it is in the national interest that such discussions are confidential.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, how many discussions he has had with leaders of other nations where a readout has not been provided to the media following the event to date.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, Prime Ministers will speak to their international counterparts on a range of issues.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of marketing campaigns designed to help tackle vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minority groups.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 33512 on 23 March 2020, and PQ 144854 on 1 February 2021.

The Cabinet Office has addressed specific concerns from ethnic minority groups such as vaccine ingredients and amplified NHS voices publicising the use of religious sites as vaccination centres. Working with the Cabinet Office, vaccine communications from DHSC have appeared in 600 national, regional, local and specialist titles, including media for Asian, Bangladeshi, Bengali, Gujarati and Pakistani communities.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many EU citizens live in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60651 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes taking action to increase the use of renewable energy across the Government estate. Where this relates to solar panels and wind turbines on buildings occupied by the Cabinet Office, active consideration will be given to installation.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of private photographers for 10 Downing Street in each of the last 12 months.

During the course of the year, 10 Downing Street hosts a number of events to celebrate the work of charities and mark initiatives such as Black History Month, NHS workers, Police Bravery, Pride, International Women’s Day and Girls’ Education. As part of this a freelance photographer is occasionally engaged for the primary purpose of taking photographs of the guests attending; these photographs are then shared with them after the event. This is since there are security restrictions on personal photography by guests. The cost of this over the last 12 months has been £5,100.


Given the Hon. Member's interest in freelance photography, I also refer her to the answer to 28 November 2011, Official Report, Column 733W, by her Rt Hon Friend, the Member for Kingston and Surbiton.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many taxis and private hire cars were taken by Ministers; at what cost to the public purse; and what the average length of journey taken was since 2018.

The full details of the information requested are not held centrally. Cabinet Office policy states that staff, and Ministers, should travel by the most efficient means of transport, and that public transport should be used where possible and appropriate.

Details of ministerial overseas travel are published regularly.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Ministers have used first class travel since 2018; and what the cost to the public purse was of those journeys.

The full details of the information requested are not held centrally. Cabinet Office policy states that staff, and Ministers, should travel by the most efficient means of transport, and that public transport should be used where possible and appropriate.

Details of ministerial overseas travel are published regularly.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of money spent by the Government on opinion polling in relation to covid-19 (a) overall and (b) in each of the last six months.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQs 62462, 62463 and 62562 on 25 June 2020.

20th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse was of consultants advising his Department in each financial year from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

Spend on external consultants is published in our Annual Report and Accounts. These are available on gov.uk.

Details of spend over £25,000 are also published on gov.uk.

14th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the social media team in his office has contacted an MP about the existence of anti-Government messages displayed by children in schools (a) since the 2019 general election, (b) in the last six months and (c) in the last year.

The social media team does not engage with MPs on these matters.

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the closure of post offices on local communities.

While the Post Office has the commercial freedom to deliver the branch network within the parameters Government sets, the Government fully appreciates the impact a Post Office branch closure can have on a community.

With the largest retail network in the country, there will inevitably be variations in the number of branches open at any one time and any closures are usually outside the control of Post Office. However, the network is not in decline and in fact, more post offices opened last year than closed, and the network is as large today as it has been for five years, with around 11,700 branches open – above the 11,500 target that we set the Post Office.

The Government protects the branch network by setting minimum access criteria to ensure that 99% of the UK population lives within three miles of a post office. The Government-set access criteria ensures that however the network changes, vital services remain within local reach for all citizens.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make it his policy to require all car parks with more than 80 spaces to install solar canopies over at least half the area they cover.

I refer the hon Member to the reply I gave on 14 June 2023 to my hon Friend the Member for North East Hampshire (Ranil Jayawardena) to Question UIN 188072.

The Government is looking to facilitate and promote extensive deployment of rooftop solar on industrial and commercial property in order to make maximum usage of available surfaces for business as well as environmental and climate benefits.

The Government will consider how else to extend deployment further, including with solar car parks.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to help attract overseas researchers, academics and innovators to the UK.

We are promoting the UK as a key destination for top science and technology talent through the GREAT Talent campaign and the Global Talent Network.

Our generous and points-based immigration offer makes it easy and fast for talented researchers and innovators to come to the UK.

We have launched a number of attractive visa routes, such as the Global Talent visa, which has seen a 76% rise in visas issued in the year ending June 2023.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, how many specialist spaces she expects to be constructed for T Level students with the £50 million funding allocated in the Science and Technology Framework.

On 6 March, the Government announced measures worth around £500 million to support delivery of the science and technology Framework. The Framework set out the UK's ambition for science and technology skills and talent to 2030, which included widening participation at higher technical levels.

Separately, the Department for Education has awarded nearly £200 million to T Level course providers between 2020 and 2023, almost £100 million through the Specialist Equipment Allocation, and at least a further £80 million for Wave 4 T Levels in March 2023. Further capital projects will be announced in the summer to support delivery from 2024.

20th Feb 2023
To ask Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether her Department is taking steps to fully associate the UK to Horizon Europe.

The Government has been tirelessly pushing the EU to implement the UK’s association to Horizon Europe including launching consultations in August 2022. The EU has continued to delay UK association to the detriment of researchers in both the UK and EU.

During these delays the Government introduced the Horizon Europe guarantee, which was recently extended to cover all Horizon calls that close on or before 31 March 2023, enabling successful UK-based Horizon applicants to receive funding.

If the EU’s delays continue, the Government will be ready to introduce a comprehensive alternative programme to support the UK R&D sector.

20th Feb 2023
To ask Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will make an estimate of the number of researchers who have left UK universities due to the delays to the UK's association to Horizon Europe.

The Government has been tirelessly pushing the EU to implement the UK’s association to Horizon Europe, but the EU has continued to delay the UK’s association.

During these delays the Government introduced the Horizon Europe guarantee, which was recently extended to cover all Horizon calls that close on or before 31 March 2023. This ensures that eligible, successful applicants to Horizon Europe will receive the full value of their funding at their UK host institution for the lifetime of their grant and do not need to leave the UK. The Government does not hold the information requested.

20th Feb 2023
To ask Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the UK becoming fully associated to Horizon Europe on universities in the UK.

Due to the EU’s delays in implementing the UK’s association to Horizon Europe, the Government introduced the Horizon Europe guarantee, which covers all Horizon calls that close on or before 31 March 2023. This has enabled successful UK-based Horizon researchers to receive the full value of their funding and means researchers do not need to relocate abroad. To the end of January 2023, guarantee awards have been made to 1,548 recipients totalling £751 million.

If the EU’s delays continue, the Government will be ready to introduce a comprehensive alternative programme to support the UK R&D sector.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was created in July 2016. Since our creation we have not agreed any non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements relating to employment, bullying, misconduct and harassment cases.

As we have not agreed any such agreements, there have been no associated legal costs or financial settlements.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to consumers in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) England of gas transmission costs as a proportion of total energy costs.

Gas transmission charges for the South East region under the Ofgem price cap for October 2022 are £14.20 per domestic customer per year based on typical gas consumption levels (excluding VAT). This compares to an average of £15.75 across Great Britain. Gas transmission charges represent less than 1% of a typical domestic dual fuel energy bill.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of officials in his Department involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law Dashboard in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the cost to the public purse of recording that information.

There has been no additional non-pay cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The creation of the dashboard was led by the Cabinet Office, who commissioned Government Departments to find REUL within their legislation and compile an authoritative account of where REUL sits on the UK statute book.

The dashboard itself is made by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted on Tableau Public, which is a free platform for hosting public dashboards. The dashboard will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government's plans to invest £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals, what proportion of the intended investment is to be funded by Government spending in relation to (a) homes, (b) schools and (c) hospitals; what proportion of the intended amount has (i) already been invested and (ii) been allocated in relation to (A) homes, (B) schools and (C) hospitals; and what plans he has in the next two years to spend the remaining amount which has not yet been invested or allocated in relation to (1) homes, (2) schools and (3) hospitals.

The Government is investing £6.6 billion across this parliament to support building decarbonisation. For low-income, domestic households, £787 million has been allocated to the Local Authority Delivery scheme, in delivery since 2020, alongside an initial £219 million for the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) in 2021, which focuses on off-gas grid homes. c.£880 million more funding has been allocated to HUG by 2025. For the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, a further £800m has been committed for Wave 2. To date, c.£60m has been awarded through the Demonstrator, and c.£179m through Wave 1.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund decarbonisation. £2.5 billion has been allocated to date, and £1.075 billion has been spent in years 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,, what steps he has taken to ensure that the UK’s associate membership of the Horizon Europe programme is ratified to prevent the European Research Council (ERC) from withdrawing funding for scientists and academics.

The UK stands ready to formalise our association to EU programmes at the earliest opportunity but the EU are not honouring commitments made when the TCA was agreed. My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have raised delays with our counterparts in Europe, including through the EU-UK Specialised Committee meeting in December 2021.

Delays from the EU have led to uncertainty for researchers, businesses and innovators in the UK, including ERC applicants. In order to provide reassurance, the Government has guaranteed funding for eligible successful applicants to Horizon Europe who are expected to sign grant agreements by December 2022. The guarantee means that eligible ERC applicants will receive the full value of their funding at a UK host institution and do not need to leave the UK.

If the UK is unable to associate to Horizon soon, and in good time to make full use of the opportunities it offers, we will be ready to introduce a comprehensive global science, research and innovation programme for the benefit of the UK research community.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations the Government has made to the Dubai authorities regarding DP World and P&O Ferries.

We have been absolutely clear with the CEO of P&O Ferries that the decisions that the company has taken are absolutely catastrophic for its reputation. We have said the same thing to DP World.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of energy customers to pay bills in full monthly rather than averaged out in advance.

Energy customers can pay their bills in full each quarter. However, paying an amount each month by direct debit is often the cheapest and most cost-effective method for both the consumer and the supplier. Any requirement for suppliers to bill and collect payments monthly will add to operating costs which may be passed to consumers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many manufacturing investment bids his Department supported in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021 and (d) to date in 2022.

The Department offers a wide range of support to business, including the manufacturing sector, under a number of targeted support schemes. Full details of all awards made under these schemes are published on an annual basis via the Cabinet Office Governments Grants Information system, which covers details of all HMG support activity.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much his Department has spent on business subsidies in (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021 and (d) January 2022.

Information reported on the European Commission’s State Aid Transparency Public Search database for subsidies granted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy only and, since January 2021, on the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s subsidy control transparency database is:

(a) 2019: £15,919,618.

(b) 2020: £3,756,963,591.

(c) 2021: £1,677,146,697.

(d) January 2022: £1,116,000.

The data from 2019 and 2020 reflects subsidy awards given under the EU State aid rules. The significant increase in subsidies in 2020 and 2021 is a result of Covid-19 related business support schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), which provided government-backed finance to support businesses that had been impacted by the pandemic.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the trends in the net flow of publishing scientists in relation to being domiciled in the UK and overseas in each of the last three years.

Science is a global co-operative endeavour and scientists circulate around the world to collaborate and learn from their peers. To further our ambitions as a science superpower, we need to ensure the UK is internationally competitive for this globally mobile talent, with reduced barriers to mobility. We have therefore set out actions to ensure the UK attracts, develops and retains talented individuals and strong teams in research and development, in the R&D People and Culture Strategy. The strategy also recognises the importance of mobility between sectors, including between academia and industry.

We do not hold information regarding the domicile of publishing scientists. Although information is available on their academic affiliations, scientists can be affiliated to multiple institutions in multiple countries at the same time.

International researchers continue to move to the UK: the Global Talent visa, introduced on 20 February 2020, accounted for 2,768 grants in the High Value visa category for the year ending September 2021, around half (50%) of all High Value visa grants. UKRI’s Endorsed Funder route for obtaining the Global Talent visa has endorsed 875 applications since April 2021, currently receiving 100 to 120 applications per month.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage publishing scientists to work in the UK following the UK's departure from the EU.

We are continuously improving our approach to attracting global talent to the UK. Our R&D People and Culture Strategy set out actions to attract, retain and develop talented people, ensuring R&D careers in the UK are appealing to talented individuals and teams both domestically and internationally. The Global Talent visa, along with the forthcoming High Potential Individual and Scale-up visa routes announced in the Innovation Strategy, provides fast track visa routes for high skilled individuals and their teams.

Through the Office for Talent (OfT), we are delivering further visa reform and reviewing our talent offer to make sure that our programmes are among the best and most attractive in the world. BEIS has worked with the OfT and GREAT to launch an online service to attract highly skilled, international talent, providing key information on the UK offer and thus making it easier to come to the UK. This service is available at: https://greattalent.campaign.gov.uk/

The government will also launch a Global Talent Network, which aims to bring talented individuals to the UK in key science and tech sectors. The Global Talent Network will work with businesses and research institutions to identify UK skills needs and source Science and Tech talent in overseas universities and innovation hubs to bring to the UK.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many properties in England are owned by (a) off-shore companies and (b) off-shore companies registered in a Crown Dependency.

HM Land Registry holds information on registered titles in England and Wales.

A dataset of Overseas companies that own property in England and Wales is publicly available via GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-overseas-companies-that-own-property-in-england-and-wales.

The dataset is a list of freehold or leasehold title registrations held by HM Land Registry, where the registered legal owner is an overseas company (a company incorporated outside of the UK).

11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to create a public beneficial ownership register of overseas entities that own UK property.

As set out in my Written Ministerial Statement made on 2nd November 2021, the Government remains committed to establishing a new beneficial ownership register of overseas entities that own UK property. This register will help combat money laundering and achieve greater transparency in the UK property market. We will legislate when parliamentary time allows.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 November 2021 to Question 69687, whether the Government delivered the 20 million covid-19 vaccine doses due to be donated by the Government by the end of 2021 to countries in need.

On 30 December. the Government announced that we had met the target to donate 30 million COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. We also reiterated our plan for millions more vaccines to be sent to other countries in 2022, including 20 million more Oxford-AstraZeneca doses and 20 million Janssen doses.

Of the over 30 million vaccines we have donated; approximately 25.4m have been received by COVAX, and 5.5m have been delivered directly by the UK to countries in need. These donations have benefitted more than 30 countries. The majority, 23.3m, of these donations have now arrived at their final destination, with 7.6 million of the doses received by COVAX that remain to be shipped to recipient countries in the next few weeks.

In addition to life saving vaccine, the Government have also recently pledged £105m of UK emergency aid to help vulnerable countries tackle Omicron, with a particular focus on Africa.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with officials in his Department on the sale of the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

The Vaccine Taskforce and UK Research and Innovation are working closely with VMIC, which is a private company, to ensure the UK has a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to the UK’s resilience against COVID-19 and other future health emergencies. At present these discussions are commercially sensitive.

4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the 20 million covid-19 vaccine doses to be donated by the Government by the end of 2021 to countries in need, what the expiry date is of those doses; and when the Government plans to deliver them.

On 30 October, we announced a further donation of 20 million Oxford-AstraZeneca doses. Of this, 10 million has already been sent to COVAX, and 10 million more are due to be delivered in the coming weeks between now and the end of 2021 to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. This means that at least 30.7 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca will have been donated in 2021.

The UK, COVAX and AZ are working closely together and with international partners such as UNICEF to allocate vaccines according to need, facilitate the rapid delivery of doses and maximise the shelf life available to recipients. This includes the provision of regular forecasts to COVAX to assist planning. Doses are sent directly by AZ to UNICEF, rather than having to be processed by the UK Government. Vaccines delivered by COVAX are distributed in line with the World Health Organisation's 'equitable allocation framework', which helps ensure COVAX doses reach those countries most in need. Recipient countries are informed of vaccine expiry dates, and doses are delivered in consultation with countries via COVAX to ensure they are ready and able to begin immediate roll out.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to rectify the £120 million gap between the allocations and commitments of Official Development Assistance funding provided by his Department to UKRI.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

On 2nd December last year, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary wrote to the Chair of the International Development Committee setting out the Strategic Framework for UK ODA, which details the UK’s foreign aid spending priorities. In line with these priorities, he confirmed each Department’s total ODA settlement on 26th January.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships and supporting the UK research sector. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer committed to increasing UK investment in R&D to £14.6 billion in 2021/22 in this recent Budget.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the Financial Year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to their award holders to set out the process for reviewing ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI on ongoing coronavirus vaccine development.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to many award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the statement entitled Official Development Assistance: Foreign Secretary's statement on 26 November 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI on his Department's ability to meet the 7 global challenges outlined in his statement.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to many award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the statement entitled Official Development Assistance: Foreign Secretary's statement on 26 November 2020, what assessment his Department has made of effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI on his Department's ability to its stated goals relating to science, research and technology.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to many award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance on UK Research and Innovation.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22, and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are working with UKRI and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners to manage the impact of next year’s ODA allocation.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people in (a) Thames Valley region, (b) Oxfordshire and (c) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency (i) applied for and (ii) successfully received a Green Homes Scheme Grant in 2020.

Official statistics for the Green Homes Grant (Voucher) Scheme were released on 18 February. The data published in this release is for all applications to the end of January 2021:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/green-home-grant-statistics.

Further scheme statistics will be published in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses in (a) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (b) the Thames Valley region, (c) England and (d) the UK have called the EU Business Helpline in each of the last 12 months.

The Business Support Helpline operates in England and provides a range of support and advice to pre-start, and established businesses. This support includes advice following the UK’s exit from the EU. Businesses in the Devolved Administrations can access similar services within their country.

In the last 12 months (Feb 2020 to Jan 2021) the Business Support Helpline has received over 76,000 calls from individuals and businesses.

During the same period, for the Thames Valley area, the service has handled over 800 contacts from individuals and businesses.

Statistics are gathered by each Local Authority, rather than by constituency. However, in the same period the service handled 99 customers from the Oxford City Council area; 93 customers in the Vale of White Horse area; and 87 customers in West Oxfordshire.

The individual data can be seen in the attached tables.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what effect the 30 per cent reduction in his Department’s Official Development Assistance allocation will have on the Government’s ringfenced climate change and R&D funding commitments.

The difficult finance situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%.

ODA allocations for all departments were determined in light of this by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in consultation with HM Treasury, and with regard to wider commitments including the R&D ringfence. The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review.

The Department remains committed to supporting my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s pledge to double the UK’s International Climate Finance to £11.6bn between 2021/22 and 2025/26, and we will deliver ambitious programmes to support both this commitment and the Prime Minister’s recent pledge to spend £3bn of our climate finance on nature. This significant uplift of our climate finance sets a clear benchmark for the international community towards COP26 and beyond.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s reputation as a partner of choice in international research and development projects.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22.

The UK’s scientific excellence makes it a partner of choice for many international collaborations. The Government continues to support this excellence through its work towards a 2.4% of GDP investment in R&D by 2027. This has most recently been demonstrated in the £400m uplift to R&D funding announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review for financial year 2021/2022. International collaboration is?a?central feature of a healthy and productive?R&D sector.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance on the UK’s ambition to support research to tackle (a) climate change, (b) biodiversity loss and other global challenges.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review. International collaboration is a central feature of a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are committed to doubling UK’s International Climate Finance (ICF) to £11.6bn in the years 2021-2025. Our ICF helps to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions, for instance through our £200m+ investment to support green recovery across Africa, Asia and Latin America since June 2020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the potential effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance on the UK’s support for the development of an international research culture to address (a) climate change, (b) biodiversity loss and (c) other global challenges.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22 to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review International collaboration is central feature of a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We recently reaffirmed our commitment to doubling UK’s International Climate Finance to £11.6bn in the years 2021-2025. The UK plays a crucial role in addressing the global challenge of climate change, responding to the needs of developing countries.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the potential effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s commitment to global research and innovation.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22.

The UK’s scientific excellence makes it a partner of choice for many international collaborations. The Government continues to support this excellence through its work towards a 2.4% of GDP investment in R&D by 2027. This has most recently been demonstrated in the £400m uplift to R&D funding announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review for financial year 2021/2022. International collaboration is?a?central feature of a healthy and productive?R&D sector.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the UK's energy supply will be interrupted in the event of no deal of UK-EU trade relations at the end of the transition period.

The UK’s exit from the EU does not alter the fact that our energy system is resilient and secure, and UK energy is supplied from diverse sources.

We have planned extensively for the end of the transition period, alongside National Grid and industry, to ensure electricity and gas demands are met. Electricity and gas will continue to flow over interconnectors between the UK and the EU at the end of the transition period in any scenario.

The forecast electricity margin for this winter is healthy, at 4.8GW or 8.3% additional generation. The forecast gas margin for this winter is also healthy, at around 79 million cubic metres or 15% more supply than would be required to meet demand on the coldest day in 20 winters.

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to ensure that employees can not be lawfully dismissed from their job as a result of long term covid-19 symptoms.

Employees with the necessary qualifying service who consider that they have been dismissed unfairly may complain to an employment tribunal. The case of an employee who has been dismissed as a result of health issues clearly demands special consideration. For example, a tribunal will expect the employer to have considered whether there was suitable alternative work available. Employees may also be able to seek redress through the civil courts or employment tribunals if their dismissal breaches the terms of their contracts, for instance, because the employer has failed to comply with provisions relating to sickness absence.

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the UK’s historic carbon emissions.

BEIS publishes estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK each year, with historical data on a consistent basis. The latest estimates going back to 1990 and including a provisional 2019 estimate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/provisional-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-2019. They show that an estimated 435 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) were emitted in 2019 in the UK, down from 794 MtCO2e in 1990.

In addition, estimates of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK since 1970 are available in table 4 in the data tables accompanying the final 2018 greenhouse gas estimates: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/final-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-1990-to-2018. The estimates for 1970 to 1989 do not include all of the sources of carbon dioxide emission included for 1990 onwards and estimates for other greenhouse gases are not available before 1990.

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to account for carbon emissions in the UK’s overseas infrastructure projects.

The Department spends overseas development assistance (ODA) on infrastructure programmes through its International Climate Finance (ICF).

The aim of the ICF is to support developing countries to respond to the challenges and opportunities of climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives such as the UK Sustainable Infrastructure Programme. All ICF programmes are assessed against an analytical framework which includes taking account of the impact on emissions in developing countries. The latest ICF results publication estimates that across HMG, ICF programmes have reduced or avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions between 2011/12 and 2019/20, and will deliver much greater savings over their lifetimes (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-climate-finance-results).

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 65917 on Renewable energy, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of spending on solar PV energy by his Department compared to conventional energy sources.

The annual maintenance cost for the solar PV array for 2020 at the Department’s headquarters building at 1 Victoria Street, London is £955.00. Costs dating back earlier than this are unavailable as maintenance of the solar PV array formed part of a wider maintenance package.

The Department has spent the following amounts on electricity at 1 Victoria Street in the past two years and in 2020/21 to date. Data earlier than this is currently inaccessible.

Year

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Electricity cost

£564,336.89

£613,067.94

£112,779.51*

*Data for 2020/21 is for April – June inclusive

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 60652 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install more solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

At present, the Department has no plans to install additional solar panels or wind turbines at its headquarters building at 1 Victoria Street in the next five years. As part of the Department’s drive to reduce its impact on the environment and achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, we are working with our contractors to identify the best route to sustainable energy supply.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many business owners from BAME backgrounds have received loans under the Bounce Back Loans Scheme.

As of 7 June, 782,246 loans have been approved under the BBLS, with a total value of £23.78 billion.

Capturing information relating to business ownership by ethnicity is at the discretion of the lender and will also be up to the business owner.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many air miles were accumulated by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in his Department in (i) the last six months and (ii) each calendar year since 2015.

All air flights for the Department must be booked through the Crown Commercial travel management system and do not provide personal rewards. The Departmental expenses policy, which applies to special advisers as well as civil servants, sets out that air miles and similar benefits earned through official travel should not be used for private purposes.

Similar arrangements for Ministers are set out in the Ministerial Code; if it is impractical to use benefits for Government travel, Ministers may donate air miles to charity if permissible under the terms of the airline’s scheme and the charity is chosen by the airline.

Information on accumulated air miles is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Art Council England National Portfolio Organisation funding between 2023 to 2026 on the English National Opera Breathe programme.

Decisions regarding what programmes an organisation delivers are made independently of the Government. As part of its decisions relating to its 2023–26 Investment Programme, Arts Council England – which operates at arm’s length from the Government – has proposed a package of support for English National Opera. The Department is keen that Arts Council England and English National Opera work together on possibilities for the future of the organisation.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

The Government is clear that confidentiality clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

DCMS does not make use of non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements and therefore has also not incurred expenditure related to legal fees or financial settlements.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make representations (a) FIFA and (b) the Football Association and (c) Football Association Wales on the potential merits of establishing a workers compensation fund for workers who built stadiums for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

We welcome the steps Qatar has taken to date on workers’ rights, with the priority now the full implementation and enforcement of those reforms.

We encourage continued close collaboration between the Government of Qatar and International Labour Organization during the second phase of their technical cooperation programme – which runs until the end of 2023. We also welcome continued Qatari cooperation with entities such as the international trade unions.

On 4 July, FCDO Minister Milling met the Qatari Minister for Labour in Doha. They discussed Qatar’s progress on labour reforms, and the Ministry’s on-going cooperation with the International Labour Organization.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of (a) the number of officials in her Department involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law Dashboard in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the cost to the public purse of recording that information.

DCMS’ response to the Cabinet Office’s commission for the Retained EU Law Dashboard was coordinated by the department’s Legislative Strategy team and drew from a range of officials, with varying involvement over a period of time. It is therefore not possible to disaggregate specifically.

There has been no additional non-pay cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard. The process was led by the Cabinet Office, who commissioned Government Departments to find REUL within their legislation and compile an authoritative account of where REUL sits on the UK statute book.

The dashboard itself is made by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted on Tableau Public, which is a free platform for hosting public dashboards.

The dashboard will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government has had any involvement in the proposed sale of Chelsea Football Club.

The Government has been clear that it would like to see the club sold to an appropriate new owner before the end of the season. The process for any bid continues to be run by the club, and it will be for them to decide the precise terms of a proposed sale.

At the point the club has a preferred bidder we would expect them to apply for a licence to enable the sale. The Government will consider the merits of this licence application on its own terms, noting that we can only impose conditions on a licence which authorises the sale of the club if they are linked to the sanctions policy.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many premises in Oxfordshire which are classified as rural by the ONS are included in Ofcom Area 2.

There are 14,678 premises in Oxfordshire that are classified as rural (using data from the Office for National Statistics) and in Ofcom’s Area 2. These premises are not eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme as the independent market regulator for the telecoms market, Ofcom, as part of its Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review 2021-26 has determined there is, or there is likely to be potential for, material and sustainable competition in the commercial deployment of competing networks. This avoids the risk of public money crowding out commercial investment, and provides value for taxpayer money whilst delivering to those areas most in need. However, DCMS will continue to survey operators on their commercial build plans. If it becomes clear that premises are unlikely to benefit from a commercially delivered gigabit programme within a reasonable timeframe, then DCMS will take action to address this market failure. These detailed reviews will take place in partnership with the local authority through the process of Open Market Review and then Public Review to ensure an accurate map of existing networks is drawn up.

There are over 55,000 premises in Oxfordshire that are eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many private hire cars his Department has used since 2015; how long each journey was; and what the cost was of those journeys to the public purse.

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur a disproportionate response.

7th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools are currently waiting for the results of their reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete survey to be returned as of 7 September 2023.

Nothing is more important than the safety of children and staff. It has always been the case that where we are made aware of a building that may pose an immediate risk, the Department takes immediate action.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools – academy trusts, Local Authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – who work with their schools on a day-to-day basis, to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert us if there is a concern with a building.

The Department has acted decisively and proactively to tackle this issue. This Government has taken more proactive action on RAAC than any other in the UK. The Department issued comprehensive guidance in 2018, and subsequent years, to all responsible bodies highlighting the potential risks associated with RAAC and supporting them to identify this within their buildings, as well as to take appropriate steps in meeting their obligations to keep buildings safe. The most recent guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-estates-guidance.

There are over 22,000 schools and colleges in England, and the vast majority are unaffected. A significant proportion of the estate was built outside the period where RAAC was used, with around one third of the estate built since 2001, therefore, the Department has focused efforts on buildings built in the post-war decades.

The Department issued a questionnaire in March 2022, asking responsible bodies to inform the Department of any suspected RAAC identified in their estates. Responsible bodies have submitted questionnaires for over 98% of schools with blocks built in the target era, of which there are 14,900. We are pressing all remaining schools to get checks completed, to determine which schools require surveys.

The Department is contacting responsible bodies to help them respond to this request and to advise on what needs to be done, so that they can establish whether they believe they have RAAC. This work will continue until we have a response for all target era schools.

Schools and colleges where RAAC is suspected are being fast tracked for surveying, which is used to confirm whether RAAC is actually present. All schools and colleges that have already told us they suspect they might have RAAC will be surveyed within a matter of weeks, in many cases in a matter of days.

All schools where RAAC is confirmed are provided with a dedicated caseworker to support them and help implement a mitigation plan and minimise the disruption to children’s learning.

Across Government, Departments have been asked to report on the current picture of suspected and confirmed RAAC in their estates as soon as possible. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. The Department for Education published lists of education settings confirmed as having RAAC on Wednesday 6 September, and committed to providing further updates.

Schools will contact parents where RAAC is identified and inform them of any impacts on their child. The vast majority of schools are unaffected. Any parents that are unsure if their child’s school is affected should contact their school directly.

While some short term disruption is inevitable, all available measures will be taken to minimise disruption to pupil learning and ensure that pupils continue to receive face-to-face teaching. Where there is any disturbance to face-to-face education, schools will prioritise attendance for vulnerable children and young people and children of key workers. The guidance published by the Department in August also includes guidance on provision for pupils with SEND and sets out expectations that schools continue to provide free school meals to eligible pupils.

The Department will fund emergency mitigation work needed to make buildings safe, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, like transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, the department will provide that support for all reasonable requests. The Department will also fund longer term refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, to rectify the RAAC issue in the long term.

All previously confirmed Schol Rebuilding Programme projects announced in 2021 and 2022 will continue to go ahead. A full list of confirmed projects can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

Further information on RAAC in education settings is available on the Education Hub: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/09/06/new-guidance-on-raac-in-education-settings/.

7th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average number of days is for her Department to process and return a school's RAAC survey.

Nothing is more important than the safety of children and staff. It has always been the case that where we are made aware of a building that may pose an immediate risk, the Department takes immediate action.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools – academy trusts, Local Authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – who work with their schools on a day-to-day basis, to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert us if there is a concern with a building.

The Department has acted decisively and proactively to tackle this issue. This Government has taken more proactive action on RAAC than any other in the UK. The Department issued comprehensive guidance in 2018, and subsequent years, to all responsible bodies highlighting the potential risks associated with RAAC and supporting them to identify this within their buildings, as well as to take appropriate steps in meeting their obligations to keep buildings safe. The most recent guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-estates-guidance.

There are over 22,000 schools and colleges in England, and the vast majority are unaffected. A significant proportion of the estate was built outside the period where RAAC was used, with around one third of the estate built since 2001, therefore, the Department has focused efforts on buildings built in the post-war decades.

The Department issued a questionnaire in March 2022, asking responsible bodies to inform the Department of any suspected RAAC identified in their estates. Responsible bodies have submitted questionnaires for over 98% of schools with blocks built in the target era, of which there are 14,900. We are pressing all remaining schools to get checks completed, to determine which schools require surveys.

The Department is contacting responsible bodies to help them respond to this request and to advise on what needs to be done, so that they can establish whether they believe they have RAAC. This work will continue until we have a response for all target era schools.

Schools and colleges where RAAC is suspected are being fast tracked for surveying, which is used to confirm whether RAAC is actually present. All schools and colleges that have already told us they suspect they might have RAAC will be surveyed within a matter of weeks, in many cases in a matter of days.

All schools where RAAC is confirmed are provided with a dedicated caseworker to support them and help implement a mitigation plan and minimise the disruption to children’s learning.

Across Government, Departments have been asked to report on the current picture of suspected and confirmed RAAC in their estates as soon as possible. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. The Department for Education published lists of education settings confirmed as having RAAC on Wednesday 6 September, and committed to providing further updates.

Schools will contact parents where RAAC is identified and inform them of any impacts on their child. The vast majority of schools are unaffected. Any parents that are unsure if their child’s school is affected should contact their school directly.

While some short term disruption is inevitable, all available measures will be taken to minimise disruption to pupil learning and ensure that pupils continue to receive face-to-face teaching. Where there is any disturbance to face-to-face education, schools will prioritise attendance for vulnerable children and young people and children of key workers. The guidance published by the Department in August also includes guidance on provision for pupils with SEND and sets out expectations that schools continue to provide free school meals to eligible pupils.

The Department will fund emergency mitigation work needed to make buildings safe, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, like transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, the department will provide that support for all reasonable requests. The Department will also fund longer term refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, to rectify the RAAC issue in the long term.

All previously confirmed Schol Rebuilding Programme projects announced in 2021 and 2022 will continue to go ahead. A full list of confirmed projects can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

Further information on RAAC in education settings is available on the Education Hub: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/09/06/new-guidance-on-raac-in-education-settings/.

7th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in England and Wales have (a) submitted and (b) been returned the results of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete surveys.

Nothing is more important than the safety of children and staff. It has always been the case that where we are made aware of a building that may pose an immediate risk, the Department takes immediate action.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools – academy trusts, Local Authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – who work with their schools on a day-to-day basis, to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert us if there is a concern with a building.

The Department has acted decisively and proactively to tackle this issue. This Government has taken more proactive action on RAAC than any other in the UK. The Department issued comprehensive guidance in 2018, and subsequent years, to all responsible bodies highlighting the potential risks associated with RAAC and supporting them to identify this within their buildings, as well as to take appropriate steps in meeting their obligations to keep buildings safe. The most recent guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-estates-guidance.

There are over 22,000 schools and colleges in England, and the vast majority are unaffected. A significant proportion of the estate was built outside the period where RAAC was used, with around one third of the estate built since 2001, therefore, the Department has focused efforts on buildings built in the post-war decades.

The Department issued a questionnaire in March 2022, asking responsible bodies to inform the Department of any suspected RAAC identified in their estates. Responsible bodies have submitted questionnaires for over 98% of schools with blocks built in the target era, of which there are 14,900. We are pressing all remaining schools to get checks completed, to determine which schools require surveys.

The Department is contacting responsible bodies to help them respond to this request and to advise on what needs to be done, so that they can establish whether they believe they have RAAC. This work will continue until we have a response for all target era schools.

Schools and colleges where RAAC is suspected are being fast tracked for surveying, which is used to confirm whether RAAC is actually present. All schools and colleges that have already told us they suspect they might have RAAC will be surveyed within a matter of weeks, in many cases in a matter of days.

All schools where RAAC is confirmed are provided with a dedicated caseworker to support them and help implement a mitigation plan and minimise the disruption to children’s learning.

Across Government, Departments have been asked to report on the current picture of suspected and confirmed RAAC in their estates as soon as possible. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. The Department for Education published lists of education settings confirmed as having RAAC on Wednesday 6 September, and committed to providing further updates.

Schools will contact parents where RAAC is identified and inform them of any impacts on their child. The vast majority of schools are unaffected. Any parents that are unsure if their child’s school is affected should contact their school directly.

While some short term disruption is inevitable, all available measures will be taken to minimise disruption to pupil learning and ensure that pupils continue to receive face-to-face teaching. Where there is any disturbance to face-to-face education, schools will prioritise attendance for vulnerable children and young people and children of key workers. The guidance published by the Department in August also includes guidance on provision for pupils with SEND and sets out expectations that schools continue to provide free school meals to eligible pupils.

The Department will fund emergency mitigation work needed to make buildings safe, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, like transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, the department will provide that support for all reasonable requests. The Department will also fund longer term refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, to rectify the RAAC issue in the long term.

All previously confirmed Schol Rebuilding Programme projects announced in 2021 and 2022 will continue to go ahead. A full list of confirmed projects can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

Further information on RAAC in education settings is available on the Education Hub: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/09/06/new-guidance-on-raac-in-education-settings/.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she plans to take to ensure all young people aged 16-19 enrolled in post-16 education receive mandatory Relationships and Sex Education covering domestic abuse and coercive control.

The department does not provide a national curriculum for post-16 students beyond key stage 4. However, post-16 providers have the flexibility to offer aspects of Relationships, Sex and Health education, including content on domestic abuse and coercive control, and should support students to access the information and support they need to have positive relationships and sexual experiences.

The Ofsted Further Education and Skills inspection handbook includes personal development as part of its judgements, which includes ‘developing an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationship and sex education’.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of mandatory education on domestic abuse and coercive control for all young people aged 16 to 19 in post-16 education.

The department does not provide a national curriculum for post-16 students beyond key stage 4. However, post-16 providers have the flexibility to offer aspects of Relationships, Sex and Health education, including content on domestic abuse and coercive control, and should support students to access the information and support they need to have positive relationships and sexual experiences.

The Ofsted Further Education and Skills inspection handbook includes personal development as part of its judgements, which includes ‘developing an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationship and sex education’.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

The Department has not used non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements with current or former employees from 2014 onwards.

The Government is clear that confidentiality clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment, or discrimination.

The Department did enter into some such agreements between 2010 and 2013. The table below shows the number of such agreements and the financial settlements agreed in each financial year.

Financial Year

Number of agreements

Cost of settlements

2010/11

Fewer than 10

£35,750

2011/12

Fewer than 10

£117,398

2012/13

Fewer than 10

£122,885

The Department does not hold information on the legal costs during that period.

14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many places for trainee educational psychologists his Department will fund in 2023; and whether he is taking steps to increase this number in future years.

Since 2020, the department has increased the number of educational psychologist trainees that we fund to over 200, from 160 per annum. We have invested £30 million to train three more cohorts for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 academic years, to reflect increased demand. The first cohort will enter the workforce in 2023 to provide crucial support to children and young people, schools, families, and local authorities.

On 29 March 2022 the department announced a further investment of over £10 million to train over 200 more educational psychologists. These trainees will begin their courses in September 2023, and graduate in 2026.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of officials in his Department involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law Dashboard in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the cost to the public purse of recording that information.

The department’s staff resource for the dashboard was less than one full time equivalent alongside their normal duties this financial year.

There has been no additional non-pay cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard. The process was led by the Cabinet Office, who commissioned government departments to find retained EU law (REUL) within their legislation and compile an authoritative account of where REUL sits on the UK statute book.

The dashboard itself is made by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted on Tableau Public, which is a free platform for hosting public dashboards. The dashboard will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the (a) Office for Students and (b) the University of Oxford on the 50 per cent reduction in the number of EU citizens studying at the University of Oxford since the UK's exit from the EU; and if he will make a statement.

Departmental officials and I meet regularly with the Office for Students to discuss a wide range of issues.

The government recognises how important international students, including those from the EU are, both culturally and economically. We are proud that for the 2020/21 academic year, we saw positive increases in the number of EU domiciled entrants by 4% compared to 2019/20.

We have demonstrated our commitment to international students through our International Education Strategy which was updated in February 2021 and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-education-strategy-2021-update/international-education-strategy-2021-update-supporting-recovery-driving-growth. Through this strategy, we committed to hosting at least 600,000 international higher education students studying in the UK per year. The latest data shows international enrolments increased by 9% in the 2020/21 academic year with a total of 605,130 compared with 556,625 for the previous academic year. This means we have met our international student’s ambition for the first time, around 10 years early.

In addition, the Student Route coupled with the Graduate Route means we now have a world-class student visa offer befitting our world-class higher education sector. This provides an opportunity for international students, including EU nationals, who have been awarded their degree to live and work or look for work in the UK at any skill level for two years, three for PhDs.

Through this globally competitive offer, we fully anticipate the UK continuing to be an attractive destination for students, not only for EU students but students from across the globe.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of educational psychologist provision; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on adequate provision of educational psychologists.

Local authorities are responsible for the recruitment and deployment of educational psychologists, who have statutory duties to input into educational health and care plans, as well as wider responsibilities in helping to support children and young people across the education system. The department works in partnership with local educational psychology services to ensure there is a steady flow of educational psychologists into the workforce.

Since 2020, we have increased the number of educational psychologists whose training we fund from 160 to over 200 per academic year.

The special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Review is seeking to improve the outcomes and experience of all children and young people with SEND, within a sustainable system. The Review will publish as a green paper for full public consultation in the first 3 months of this year.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of British children born before the UK's departure from the EU and currently living in an EU country who will no longer be eligible for home fee status in the event that they apply to study at universities in the UK on courses beginning after 1 January 2028.

UK Nationals living in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland at the end of the transition period, and who wish to study in England, will continue to be eligible for home fee status for courses starting before 1 January 2028. This 7 year offer supports children of UK nationals currently progressing through secondary school.

The department does not hold the number of British children living in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of the transition period who are under secondary school age. The department’s published Equality Analysis of the Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 shows that in the academic year 2018/19, there were 4,795 EEA (excluding Ireland) and Swiss domiciled students with UK nationality studying at English higher education providers. They represent 0.2% of the 1,942,535 students studying at English providers in 2018/19. Further information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-student-finance-2021-to-2022-equality-analysis.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has commenced a consultation with young people and families to collect evidence on the effect on them of the covid-19 outbreak.

There has been extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders in the development of the Department’s education recovery initiatives. This has included discussions with pupils, parents, teachers, head teachers, education specialists and charities from across the country.

The Department has also been regularly surveying parents and carers of school pupils, and secondary school pupils throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. This has helped to inform our response on a range of issues and is also helping to shape our education recovery. The reports from these surveys will be published in autumn 2021.

Through the Mental Health in Education Action Group, which was first convened in March 2021, the Department has been looking at the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on children and young people’s mental health and is considering how to expand and improve support for those who need it. The Department plans to set up a series of sessions with children and young people in the autumn to discuss how the Department can support schools and colleges to develop effective and meaningful mental health support offers in collaboration with their pupils and students.

Ofqual has commissioned two external research firms to find out what pupils, teachers, parents, carers and other stakeholders think and feel about assessments in 2021, and about the disruption that pupils have experienced. One is running focus groups, while the other is running online surveys. Both are gathering this information on an ongoing basis, with the first interviews conducted in December 2020 and the last ones scheduled for after the publication of results in August 2021.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the range of rates paid to agencies by local authorities was for children's social care workers in (a) the South-East and (b) England in each of the last five years.

The Department for Education holds the policy responsibility for children’s social care, while local authorities hold the duty to deliver children’s social care services, employ child and family social workers and make decisions about social worker renumeration. The department does not collect nor hold data from local authorities on child and family social worker pay, including on agency pay rates.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the value of unused apprenticeship levy funding returned to the Government by (a) Oxfordshire County Council and (b) employers in each of the last five years.

The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to use for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. Employers began to pay the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 and levy funds began to expire in May 2019.

Due to taxpayer confidentiality, we are unable to publish the amount that individual employers have contributed through the apprenticeship levy or the amount of funds that have been spent or have expired.

For all employers in England, the total value of expired levy funds between May 2019 and April 2020 was £847 million. From May 2020 to February 2021, the latest period for which figures are available, the total value of expired levy funds is £1,039 million.

Employers are able to use all of the funds in their apprenticeship service accounts to support apprenticeships in their own or others’ businesses. Levy paying employers can transfer up to 25% of the annual value of funds in their apprenticeship service accounts to other employers. We are simplifying the transfers process, enabling employers to make strategic decisions over where their levy funds are spent. From August 2021, employers will be able to pledge funds for transfer, and we will introduce a new national online matching service, making it quicker and simpler for levy-payers to find employers that share their business priorities to transfer funds to.

We do not anticipate that all employers who pay the levy will need or want to use all the funds available to them, but they are able to do so if they wish. Funds raised by the levy are used to support the whole apprenticeship system. Employers’ unused funds are available to support apprenticeships in smaller employers who do not pay the levy and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices who began training prior to the introduction of the levy.

We are again making available £2.5 billion for investment in apprenticeships in the 2021-22 financial year, which is double that spent in 2010-11.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all universities in England adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

The government has asked all English higher education (HE) providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The IHRA definition is an important tool in tackling antisemitism. Adopting this widely recognised definition sends a strong signal that HE providers take these issues seriously. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to HE leaders most recently in October 2020 to reiterate the importance of the definition and to urge all providers to consider adopting it.

The government is pleased to report that at least 91 providers have now adopted the definition, with many more preparing to adopt. The decision on adoption of the definition rests with individual providers, but the government will continue to urge them to adopt the definition and ensure that HE is a genuinely fulfilling and welcoming experience for everyone.

I am proud that so many providers have taken a positive step towards eradicating antisemitism by adopting the IHRA definition, but further progress is still needed to stamp it out. This is why, in my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s most recent strategic guidance letter to the OfS, the government asked the OfS to undertake a scoping exercise, to identify providers which are reluctant to adopt the definition. The letter asked them to consider introducing mandatory reporting of antisemitic incident numbers by providers, with the aim of ensuring a robust evidence base, which the OfS can then use to effectively regulate in this area.

The Secretary of State also asked the OfS to ensure that, if antisemitic incidents do occur at a provider, they should consider if it is relevant in a particular case whether the provider has adopted the IHRA definition when considering what sanctions, including monetary penalties, would be appropriate to apply.

We will continue to work across government to ensure that racism and religious hatred of any kind is not tolerated anywhere, including in our world-leading universities.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications of the Department of Education’s recent survey of wraparound care providers that are registered under Ofsted for (a) his policies and (b) UK businesses.

We fully recognise that ensuring there is sufficient wraparound childcare in the future is crucial for working parents, as well as vulnerable children and young people, both in the short and longer-term, when more parents and carers start returning to workplaces. We also recognise that this will impact upon UK businesses which is why, on 26 January 2021, we issued a survey to up to 2,000 Ofsted registered providers nationwide.

The objectives of the survey were to gain a better understanding of how providers of wraparound childcare have been affected by the national COVID-19 restrictions and, in particular, the most recent lockdown announced on 4 January 2020, to establish what this means for the provision they are currently offering. This analysis of this data is in progress and will help inform the department’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, since June 2020, we have been in close communication with various stakeholders, including several wraparound providers, to understand the specific challenges that they face, and to determine how we can most effectively support the sector to ensure that adequate wraparound childcare provision remains in place for those most in need.

We recognise the value the wraparound childcare sector offers in terms of supporting children and young people’s general wellbeing and the positive effects it can have on their mental health through the enriching social opportunities it provides. Given the valuable support this sector can provide, the government has ensured that before and after-school clubs, holiday clubs, and other out-of-school settings have been able to stay open for all children eligible to attend school on-site, and during the national lockdown for vulnerable children and young people, as well as the children of critical workers. We have also published protective measures guidance for the sector, to ensure they can offer this provision as safely as possible, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. In addition, we have a full roadmap to reopening, as set out in ’COVID response – Spring 2021’, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason he changed the census date for schools from January 2021 to October 2020 for the financial year beginning April 2021.

The move to using the October census for pupil premium funding will provide both schools and the Department with greater certainty around future funding levels earlier in the year. The majority of schools’ funding is already calculated by using data from the October census.

Per pupil funding rates for the pupil premium in the 2021-22 financial year will be the same as in the 2020-21 financial year, which is expected to increase pupil premium funding to more than £2.5 billion in 2021-22 as more children have become eligible for free school meals.

Pupil premium will continue to be based on “Ever6 FSM”, whereby all pupils eligible for free school meals at the time of the October census, or at any point in the previous 6 years, will attract pupil premium funding. As a result, we expect a typical school to see an increase in pupil premium funding from 2020-21 to 2021-22 as more children have become eligible for free school meals as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Further information on this administrative change can be found on gov.uk under “allocation changes from 2021 to 2022” on: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium/pupil-premium.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many broadband routers have been distributed by his Department to school pupils in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency since 1 March 2020 as part of the Department's programme to help pupils, students and families access remote education during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This significant injection of laptops and tablets is on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The laptops and tablets are to help support schools, academy trusts and local authorities to provide access to remote education and online social care. Schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.

As of Monday 15 February 2021, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education providers. We are making further deliveries all the time and expect to achieve our overall commitment of delivering 1.3 million devices by the end of the spring term.

We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 60,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust. Figures by constituency are not available.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been distributed by his Department to school pupils in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency since 1 March 2020 as part of the Department's programme to help pupils, students and families access remote education during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This significant injection of laptops and tablets is on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The laptops and tablets are to help support schools, academy trusts and local authorities to provide access to remote education and online social care. Schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.

As of Monday 15 February 2021, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education providers. We are making further deliveries all the time and expect to achieve our overall commitment of delivering 1.3 million devices by the end of the spring term.

We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 60,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust. Figures by constituency are not available.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many lateral flow tests bought for schools are left over as a result of the change in the school testing strategy.

Test kits delivered at the start of January 2021 continue to be used for regular testing of staff as well as for one off testing of pupils who are attending school (vulnerable children and the children of critical workers) as they returned to their institution. Additional test kits are supplied when individual settings run out.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to redistribute surplus lateral flow tests that have been allocated to schools.

Test kits delivered at the start of January continue to be used for regular testing of staff as well as for one off testing of pupils who are attending school (vulnerable children and the children of critical workers). Additional test kits are supplied when individual schools run out.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the free school meals voucher scheme will continue to be available to eligible children during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

During the period of national lockdown, schools should continue to provide meal options for all pupils who are in school. Meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are in school.

Schools should also continue to provide free school meal support to pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals and who are learning from home. Extra funding will be provided to support schools to provide food parcels or meals to eligible children. Where schools cannot offer food parcels or local alternatives, the national voucher scheme is in place so that every eligible child can access free school meals during the national lockdown.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help into employment apprentices who have had their graduations delayed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to supporting apprentices and employers to safely continue with, and complete, their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak while maintaining quality.

We have worked closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and Ofqual to introduce flexibilities to 120 apprenticeships to mitigate the effects of disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak to end-point assessment. It is this assessment which certifies an apprentice has achieved occupational competence and completed the apprenticeship. Flexibilities include remote assessment where practicable, 12-week extensions to the time limit for completion, and relaxation of the order in which elements can be taken, and these have now been extended until March 2021. We continue to review the flexibilities in place to ensure high-quality assessment can continue and to support apprentices to take the next-steps in their careers. Apprentices are employed throughout the duration of their apprenticeship, but we have also made it possible for apprentices made redundant during COVID-19 to continue to take their end-point assessments and have introduced support to help them find a new employer.

Provisional figures show that 46,930 apprentices achieved their apprenticeships (frameworks and standards) between March 23 and the end of July this year.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Nov 2020
What steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Health and Social care to deploy lateral flow covid-19 tests in (a) schools and (b) other education settings.

The Government is piloting the use of lateral flow tests in education settings. This will help us better understand how this new technology can be operationalised to protect those at high risk, find the virus and help enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible. Establishing this mass testing capability, with fast turn-around times, should allow students to continue their studies safely and minimise the risk of virus transmission in our communities.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 909081, how many education settings in the lateral flow covid-19 testing pilot for schools are in (a) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (b) Oxfordshire and (c) England; and in which schools those pilots are planned to take place.

Pilots have begun in a small number of schools and colleges using new Lateral Flow Devices that deliver a fast, on-site result. This will help us better understand how this new technology can be operationalised to protect those at high risk, find COVID-19 cases, and help enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible.

Schools currently involved in the pilots are located in: Poole, Lewisham, Salisbury, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kent, Blackburn with Darwen, Newcastle upon Tyne, Manchester, Birmingham, and West Sussex. There are currently no pilots taking place in educational settings in Oxfordshire.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the contribution of the provision of financial education from a young age to reducing the additional economic pressures experienced by households as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions, and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous Mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for Mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from Key Stages One to Four.

In the primary Mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

We trust teachers to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects, so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support education settings to put the right catch-up support in place. Information about our COVID-19 catch-up package is found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. Information about our COVID-19 support guide is found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help improve the delivery of financial education in primary schools.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions, and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous Mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for Mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from Key Stages One to Four.

In the primary Mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

We trust teachers to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects, so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support education settings to put the right catch-up support in place. Information about our COVID-19 catch-up package is found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. Information about our COVID-19 support guide is found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to schools on the rights of children with British National (Overseas) status to school places.

All children who live in the UK are eligible for a school place in England irrespective of their nationality.

The UK has offered a new route to full citizenship to British Nationals (Overseas) (BNO(S)) and their dependants. This means that those BN(O) families taking advantage of this offer and moving to the UK will be able to access a state-funded or independent school place for their children on the same basis as every other family in the UK. Those BN(O) families who choose not to avail themselves of our migration offer, and who remain in Hong Kong, will, as now, be able to send their children to the UK to access an independent school place under the UK study visa rules.

Advice to state-funded school admission authorities is contained within the School Admissions Code, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-code--2. We also provide specific advice to admission authorities on the rights of overseas pupils to access a school place on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/schools-admissions-applications-from-overseas-children.

We sent a bulletin to schools in England on 14 October containing information about changes to the immigration system which said: ‘Schools should continue to offer places to foreign national children who are resident in the United Kingdom.’

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2020 to Question 60654 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) does not currently have funded plans for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines on Department for Education buildings.

However, GPA has a Net Zero Programme in development to support the following UK Government targets:

  • To reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels by 2050, making UK a ‘Net Zero’ emitter.
  • To have at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the public sector estate by 2032 (against a 2017 baseline).

GPA has committed to the following objectives for the Government Office Portfolio:

  1. Improve energy efficiency (reduce consumption/ improve thermal efficiency)
  2. Use green energy (decarbonise)
  3. Generate and store green energy (locally)
  4. Reduce embodied carbon (in construction)

In order to meet objective 3, GPA is currently assessing opportunities for the local generation and storage of green energy on Government Office Portfolio buildings, which may include solar panels and wind turbines.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department taken to ensure greater accessibility to support and guidance for parents with children under five years old.

It is vitally important that we do all we can to help parents to support their children’s learning at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We know that the Home Learning Environment is crucial for child development. There are a wealth of resources available for parents which can be accessed through the government’s Hungry Little Minds website which can be found at:
https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/.

We are working with our partners to ensure that we give parents the best support we can to help their children’s learning at home. We have also published guidance for parents about how to support their child’s development at home during the COVID-19 outbreak which can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-children-aged-2-to-4-to-learn-at-home-during-coronavirus-covid-19.


Guidance for parents and carers on the opening of early years settings is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will allocate additional funding to 16-19 education providers as part of the covid-19 catch-up plan for students.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced a £1 billion support package for schools to help pupils catch up on lost teaching time.

We also announced on 20 July that we will be providing a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96 million for colleges, sixth forms and all 16 to 19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16 to 19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

Many further education providers are already open for some learners, including those who are 16 to 19 and adults, subject to the required safety measures being met. From autumn 2020, all learners, including those who are 16 to 19 and adults will return to a full high-quality education programme delivered by their college or post-16 learning provider.

Colleges should plan on the basis that, from September 2020, all learners will return to a full high-quality education programme.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been distributed to children learning from home in each local authority; and what the average time taken was to distribute those laptops.

The Government has provided laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker, or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, the Government has also provided 4G wireless routers.

The Department has delivered laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts based on the Department’s estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify children and young people who need devices and prioritise their needs.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers have been delivered to local authorities and academy trusts in total, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data. As of the end of June, over 202,000 laptops and tablets and over 47,000 4G wireless routers had been delivered to local authorities and academy trusts. It is taking, on average, 1.3 days from receipt of an order to the devices being dispatched to a local authority or academy trust.

The Department will be publishing data on devices delivered to each local authority and academy trust shortly.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with supply teaching agencies on (a) furlough and (b) income support for supply teachers over the 2020 summer holidays.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

The Government has provided clear guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in relation to agencies and agency workers. This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#agency-workers-including-those-employed-by-umbrella-companies.

Schools are under no obligation to continue to pay supply teachers that they directly hire or hire via agencies once the supply teacher’s contract has ended. Typically, supply teachers are not contracted to work over the summer holidays when schools are closed.

Supply teachers employed via an agency who had previously been furloughed via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for at least 3 consecutive weeks, taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June, can continue to be furloughed until the scheme ends on 31 October, so long as their employer chooses to continue to furlough them.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish updated guidance on enabling regulated childcare settings which operate outside school hours to reopen for (a) children of key workers and (b) all children.

The department has published guidance for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children over the age of 5. It sets out the safety measures that must be in place to ensure they can operate over the summer holiday. The guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

This follows confirmation from my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, that from Saturday 4 July, these providers can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place.

While schools are open in a provider’s local area, providers of these settings should follow the same protective measures as schools to limit different groups of children mixing. This means that if a setting opens before the end of the 2020 summer term, they should ensure they are:

  • only caring for children from the eligible groups (children in early years, Reception, year 1 and year 6) and priority groups (children of critical workers and vulnerable children);
  • only caring for children from one school or early years provider; and
  • working closely with the school or early years providers that their children attend, to ensure that, as far as possible, children are kept in the same small consistent groups that they are in throughout the day, and otherwise maintain social distance.

When state schools in a local area have closed for the summer term, out-of-school settings must operate in line with the published guidance and children of all ages and mixed schools may attend out-of-school settings in that area.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the ability of (a) refugee and (b) asylum seeker children to access (i) laptops and (ii) the internet during partial school closures during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle the disadvantage gap in relation to those children.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, those receiving support from a social worker and care leavers. This includes looked after children, including unaccompanied asylum seeking children. It also includes former unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are now care leavers. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices. This may include children in families who are refugees or who are seeking asylum. The Department is working to provide these devices in the shortest possible timeframe; deliveries to schools and local authorities began in May and have continued throughout June.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many private hire cars his Department has used since 2015; how long each journey was; and what the cost of those journeys were to the public purse.

The table below provides the information requested relating to the use of private hire cars by the Department since 2015.

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Totals

No. of Private Hire Cars

3568

3313

3525

4576

3576

959

19,517

Rental Days

5416

4870

5094

6817

5160

1373

28,730

Total Annual Mileage

1,217,012

1,156,713

1,373,307

2,249,283

1,702,628

683,244

8,382,187

Total Cost

£208,766

£189,879

£205,389

£263,760

£198,893

£52,110

£1,118,797

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many local authorities offer a school clothing grant.

In England, some local authorities provide discretionary grants to help with buying school uniforms. The local authorities which offer these grants set their own criteria for eligibility. The Department does not collect figures on the number of local authorities that offer uniform grants. In addition, schools may also offer individual clothing schemes, such as offering secondhand uniform at reduced prices; this would be a decision for the school to make.

No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend, a school of their choice, due to the cost of the uniform. As such the Department supports the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Private Members’ Bill, to make our guidance regarding the cost considerations for school uniform statutory.

The Department’s current non-statutory guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure future covid-19 outbreaks in schools can be contained; and if he will make it his policy to introduce a comprehensive test, trace and isolate strategy for schools.

The new NHS Test and Trace service was launched on 28 May across England. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. The government has recruited 25,000 contact tracers, able to track 10,000 new cases a day.

If a child or young person in school develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test. Where the child or young person tests positive, traced close contacts, including the rest of their class, should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days

As part of the national test and trace programme, local Public Health England health protection teams will contact all schools attended by someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The health protection team will work with the school to carry out a rapid risk assessment and advise of any further action that needs to be taken.

In some cases, a larger number of children may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure. Where schools are observing guidance on infection prevention and control to reduce the risk of transmission, closure of the whole school will not generally be necessary and should not be considered outside of discussion with health protection teams.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many days teachers have taken off work for mental health reasons in each year since 2015.

The information requested is not held centrally.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the risk from schools fully reopening of a small chain of covid-19 infection in schools leading to a wider outbreak; and if he will publish the advice he has received from SAGE on that matter.

We want to get more children back to school because it is vital for their education and their wellbeing. As such the Government has announced that all children will return to school from September.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools plan for a full return of all pupils in the Autumn term:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for head teachers to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. In welcoming all children back this Autumn, schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined in the guidance to reduce the risk of transmission. If schools follow the guidance set out, they can be confident they are managing risk effectively.

The guidance also includes the process that should be followed if anyone develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school. This guidance has been developed with advice from, and is endorsed by, Public Health England.

SAGE publish papers from their meetings on a regular basis on the SAGE website. The list of papers released to date is available by following the link below, including several schools-related papers. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at future meetings:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in England are in (a) financial deficit (a) and have been in financial deficit in each of the past five years.

The Department delegates to schools the management of their own budgets and the vast majority are operating with a cumulative surplus, with only a small percentage having a deficit. The latest published figures show 94% of academy trusts and 90% of local authority-maintained schools are in cumulative surplus or breaking even.

Data on maintained school deficits in financial year 2019/20 is not yet available. We will publish this data in December. The table below shows the number of maintained schools in cumulative deficit in each of the four preceding financial years. This data is published at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/la-and-school-expenditure-2018-to-2019-financial-year.

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Number of maintained schools in deficit

1,000

1,461

1,532

1,376

Trusts are the legal entities responsible for academies, including their finances, and, therefore, they account at trust level. The table below shows the number of academy trusts in cumulative deficit in each of the five previous academic years. We have published this data annually in the academies sector annual report and accounts (SARA) since 2015-16, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/academies-sector-annual-reports-and-accounts.

The provisional 2018/19 figure in the table is based on financial benchmarking data, available at https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources. This will be updated when the 2018/19 SARA is published in July.

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Number of academy trusts in deficit

165

185

195

169

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 41160 on Assessments: Coronavirus, if he will publish the feedback from stakeholders on the range of options available to his Department on the Reception Baseline Assessment.

The Department has listened to the feedback from stakeholders about the difficult circumstances faced by schools in the context of COVID-19 and the particular impact this has had on schools preparedness for the implementation of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) in September 2020.

Taking into account that feedback, the Department has confirmed that the statutory implementation of the RBA will be postponed until autumn 2021. Instead, schools have the option of taking part in the RBA early adopter year and can sign up to participate via a survey sent to all eligible schools. The Department remains committed to implementing the RBA.


22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the KiVa anti-bullying programme on tackling (a) bullying and (b) racist bullying.

We have not made an assessment of the KiVa anti-bullying programme. All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying. They also have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies and monitoring approaches to best suit their environment.

Our Preventing and Tackling Bullying guidance sets out that schools should develop a consistent approach to monitoring bullying incidents and evaluating the effectiveness of their approaches. It also directs schools to organisations who can provide support with tackling bullying related to race, religion and nationality. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

On 7 June, we announced more than £750,000 for the Diana Award, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Anne Frank Trust – to help hundreds of schools and colleges build relationships between pupils, boost their resilience, and continue to tackle bullying both in person and online. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

The department has also made resources available through the Educate Against Hate website. This website provides teachers, school leaders and parents with the information, guidance and support they need to challenge radical views, including racist and discriminatory beliefs, and is available here:
https://educateagainsthate.com/.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will meet with (a) teachers, (b) headteachers, (c) relevant experts, (d) unions and (e) opposition politicians in the coming days to achieve a consensus on a national plan for the reopening of schools.

The Department will continue to work with a wide range of sector representatives to develop a plan for all children to return to schools in September. This engagement includes meetings with teachers and headteachers through the Department for Education’s reference groups; meetings with expert advisors from the sector; meetings with scientific experts; meetings with teaching and support staff unions; and engaging with politicians from across the political spectrum.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the additional £650 million of funding for school catch-up plans, announced on 19 June 2020, is derived from funding reallocated within his Department or additional funding allocated to his Department.

Children and young people have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education during lockdown. The Government has therefore announced a package of support for schools to help children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

The universal catch up premium will provide £650 million to help schools make up for lost teaching time. We are currently working with HM Treasury to finalise funding arrangements for the £1 billion catch-up package.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the press release entitled Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time, published on gov.uk on 19 June 2020, what steps he is taking to help ensure that head teachers have the autonomy to make decisions on how the £650 million for primary and secondary schools is spent.

Schools are receiving a £650 million catch up premium to make up for the education that has been lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Education Endowment Foundation has published a COVID-19 recovery guide to support school leaders and staff. It provides guidance and information on the most effective strategies to catch up on lost education, and will allow schools to decide on how to best use this funding to support their pupils and their outcomes. The guidance can be found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

We know that each school will have different needs as a result of this outbreak and we trust headteachers to make the appropriate decisions for their students to ensure that this money is spent wisely.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) estimate he has made of the proportion and (b) assessment he has made of the adequacy of BAME representation among (a) pastoral and (b) disciplinary staff in the education system.

The Department for Education does not collect data on pastoral and disciplinary staff within the School Workforce Census. The School Workforce Census captures data for non-teaching staff, auxiliary staff, teaching assistants and support staff, as well as for classroom teachers and leadership roles.

BAME teachers represented 9% of the teaching population in state funded schools in November 2018. 9% of classroom teachers, 6% of deputy and assistant headteachers and 4% of headteachers came from BAME backgrounds


11% of non-teaching staff were from a BAME background in November 2018. This was 12% for auxiliary staff and 11% for both teaching assistants and other support staff.

This data is available in Tables 5 and 6 of the publication, School Workforce in England, 2018, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2018

Information for 2019 data was published on the 25 June 2020.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps with the Education Endowment Foundation to help ensure that none of the National Tutoring Programme volunteer tutors are unpaid interns.

The National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, was recently announced as part of a £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time and will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people.

We will be working closely with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to identify high quality tutoring organisations and support them to ramp up their recruitment of tutors.

The EEF will select high-quality tutoring organisations that meet agreed criteria. These organisations will have differing models - some may use volunteers to deliver tutoring sessions to pupils, while others will pay tutors. Dedicated coaches that are based in schools will all receive a salary.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the percentage of students further education establishments are allowed to readmit following the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance on how to phase the return of learners in further education is underpinned by our latest understanding of COVID-19. To limit the risk of increasing the rate of transmission, scientific advice indicates that we need to take a phased approach that limits both the number of young people in attendance and how much they mix with other learners and staff.

We are reviewing options for the Autumn term; we would like all learners to return to on site delivery as soon as possible and we are working with the sector to support them to do that, as soon as the scientific advice allows it, and with appropriate measures in place to manage the transmission risk.

Further education colleges have done fantastic work to deliver excellent online provision; many colleges had a significant online element to their offer prior to COVID-19, and we expect this to continue as there is a phased return to more on site delivery.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of school playing fields that have been sold in 2020.

The Department is keen to protect school playing fields and schools are only able to sell playing fields when they demonstrate that the disposal does not impact their curriculum and that they have explored all possible alternatives.

The Department periodically updates a playing field decision list on GOV.UK and the next update will be in July. The Department is currently collating data for this update. The list is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-land-decisions-about-disposals.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of (a) local (b) regional and (c) national levels of participation in remote learning; and what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of remote learning.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance on remote education during COVID-19 is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The Department is continuing to assess the impact of the potential effect of school closure on children and young people’s education attainment, including on remote education. We are working closely with schools, sector organisations, international institutions and across Government to understand the risks to education attainment and wellbeing, and identify the children and young people that need help.

We are committed to ensuring that all children can continue to learn remotely in a number of ways during these very difficult circumstances, and are supporting sector-led initiatives such as the Oak National Academy. This new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from schools across England. It will provide 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. By 24 May, over 2.3 million users had visited the Oak Academy site and over 8.6 million lessons had been accessed.

However, it is up to each school to determine how to deliver education to its pupils and we recognise that many schools have already shared resources – both online and printed resources – for children who are at home.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to provide financial support to the families of pupils on free school meals in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency during the 2020 school summer holidays.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse was of consultants advising his Department in each financial year from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

The Department’s consultancy expenditure is presented in the table below by each financial year as requested from 2017 to 2020.

DfE Consultancy Expenditure

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

£M

£M

£M

Department

6.0

9.0

12.0

Agencies

0.1

0.4

1.1

Non-departmental public bodies

6.0

5.2

-

Total

12.1

14.6

13.1

Expenditure for financial year 2020/21 has not been included as the financial year commenced as of 1 April 2020 and this information has not been released in the public domain. For financial year 19/20 the Department has not published the annual accounts and is waiting sign off and audit approval to release the data. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic an extension for the submission of annual accounts has been applied across Government Departments.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to include (a) Iceland and (b) Lidl in the Edenred free school meals voucher scheme.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The national voucher scheme for free school meals currently includes a variety of supermarkets. Initially, the scheme included supermarkets that already have e-gift card arrangements in place with our supplier, Edenred, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose. On Monday 27 April we added Aldi to this list and on Wednesday 29 April we added McColl’s. We have been working with other supermarkets to encourage them to join. Any additional supermarkets would need to have the right infrastructure to deliver e-gift cards across their network of stores.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate free school meal arrangements for eligible pupils during this period. In the first instance, we are asking schools to speak to their catering teams and food suppliers about preparing meals or food parcels that could be collected by or delivered to families that are not in attendance. Where this is not possible, schools can use the national voucher scheme or make alternative voucher arrangements locally. Our guidance for schools sets out that they can be reimbursed for costs incurred where the national voucher scheme is not suitable for their families and this can include alternative voucher arrangements with supermarkets that are not part of the national voucher scheme.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is adequate (a) funding for, (b) support for and (c) co-operation between itself and pupil referral units to ensure that those units are able to fulfil their functions during the covid-19 outbreak.

I have set up an alternative provision stakeholder group, formed of senior leaders from across the sector, to help us understand and respond to the specific challenges facing alternative provision schools at this time. I meet this group every month.

The support available to the sector is set out in the department’s guidance on vulnerable children and young people:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

Alternative provision schools can claim up to £50,000 to cover additional costs, and local authorities and schools should continue to fund commissioned places in alternative provision until the end of the summer term. This is set out in the department’s financial support guidance:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that Higher Education institutions have adequate funding to ensure their financial sustainability during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector to monitor the likely impacts.

On 4 May 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced a package of measures to ensure sustainability in HE at a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

We will stabilise the admissions system and reprofile tuition fee payments, expected to be worth £2.6 billion, for providers so that they receive more cash in the first term of the 2020/21 academic year. This will have no impact on students but will allow providers to better manage financial risks over the autumn. This will be available to all providers across the UK.

In reprofiling these payments, we are clear in our expectation that providers should use the cashflow benefits appropriately, taking significant steps to improve efficiencies and manage their finances in order to avoid cashflow problems in the future. Reprofiling in this way is a one-off intervention for the autumn term only, to help providers take all necessary steps now to prepare for the future.

In England, we will also be bringing forward £100 million of quality-related research funding for providers to the current academic year to help to address some of the immediate pressures faced by university research activities.

The department will consider purchasing land and buildings where they can be used for new or expanding schools and colleges in England. This will take place as part of existing programmes and using established procedures. This financial year (across purchases from all suitable vendors, including but not limited to HE providers), we have budgeted up to £100 million to acquire sites for planned projects in England. Details are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

These measures are in addition to the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak.

The government has also confirmed that providers are eligible to apply for its support packages, including business loan support schemes, which the Office for Students (OfS), the regulator in England, estimates could be worth at least £700 million to the sector.

We will only intervene further where we believe there is a case to do so and where we believe intervention is possible and appropriate and as a last resort.

In such instances, we will work with providers to review their circumstances and assess the need for restructuring and any attached conditions. The department will be working with HM Treasury and other government departments to develop this restructuring regime and with the devolved administrations.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the scientific evidence submitted to his Department in relation to covid-19 on the (a) transmissibility for 0-10 year old children, (b) infection rates for 0-10 children, (c) expected infection and death rates for the children that return to education settings, (d) expected infection and death rates among teaching staff that return to education settings and (e) expected infection and death rates among Black Asian and minority ethnic communities in advance of the decision to begin the phased reopening of schools.

The Government has asked schools and nurseries to prepare to open to more young people from 1 June, with protective measures in place, as part of a phased wider opening of schools.

The Children’s Task and Finish Working Group, established by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), provided consolidated scientific health advice to Government. Advice from this group was used, alongside other sources of information, to inform decision making on the wider opening schools.

Papers from SAGE meetings are being published in tranches. The first batch was released on 20 March 2020 and further papers were published on 5 May and 22 May 2020, including papers on the wider opening of schools. Further batches will be released regularly.

The list of papers to be released to date is available by following the link below, including a number of schools-related papers. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at future meetings: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

In addition, the department has published an explanatory note to accompany SAGE’s findings from the Interdisciplinary Task and Finish Group. This looked specifically at the role of children in transmission and can be found by following the link below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887247/Department_for_Education_explanatory_note_on_SAGE_modelling.pdf.

ONS published analysis of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by ethnic group, England and Wales: 2 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. This provisional analysis has shown that the risk of death involving coronavirus (COVID-19) among some ethnic groups is significantly higher than that of those of white ethnicity. A review, carried out by PHE, will look to understand how different factors -including ethnicity, gender and obesity -can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. More information can be found by following the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-factors-impacting-health-outcomes-from-covid-19.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what reference to the oral evidence session of the Education Committee on 22 April 2020 on the Inquiry, the impact of covid-19 on education and children’s services, how REACT teams are comprised with regard to (a) staff, (b) volunteers, (c) funding and (d) on the ground support.

Regional Education and Children’s Teams (REACTs) have been established to better co-ordinate how the Department and Ofsted capture information and intelligence about local needs and circumstances in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, whilst also offering support to local authorities where they need it.

There are nine REACTs across England, representing policy areas including vulnerable, children’s social care, special educational needs and disabilities, schools and further education. Membership includes representatives from Ofsted and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Membership is drawn from existing Departmental and Ofsted staff, so does not require additional funding.

REACTs provide a mechanism for the Department to coordinate conversations with local authorities across education and children’s services, preventing duplication. Through those conversations, REACTs discuss matching practical support offers to those local authority areas that require it. Specifically, Ofsted have to date agreed deployment of 242 staff to 114 local authorities, with 98 having started the deployment (as of 11 May 2020). The purpose of these placements is to assist frontline organisations deal with urgent activities related to COVID-19, or by back-filling roles that enable others to deal with urgent activities related to COVID-19, for example in contacting and tracking vulnerable children.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) supply teaching agencies, (b) schools or(c) the his Department is responsible for ensuring that supply teachers receive a secure income during the covid-19 outbreak.

The support available to supply teachers, and who provides this support, is dependent on whether supply teachers are employed directly by schools or employed by agencies. The Department has developed school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

The Department has also developed further guidance on financial support for all education institutions, which is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

The Department is communicating regularly, via a number of channels, with schools, supply agencies and teaching unions on the support available for supply staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent (a) discussion and (b) other engagement he has with supply teaching agencies on support for supply teachers since the closure of schools in March 2020.

The support available to supply teachers, and who provides this support, is dependent on whether supply teachers are employed directly by schools or employed by agencies. The Department has developed school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

The Department has also developed further guidance on financial support for all education institutions, which is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

The Department is communicating regularly, via a number of channels, with schools, supply agencies and teaching unions on the support available for supply staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to communicate to supply teachers (a) where they can access support and (b) who they should contact to access that support.

The support available to supply teachers, and who provides this support, is dependent on whether supply teachers are employed directly by schools or employed by agencies. The Department has developed school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

The Department has also developed further guidance on financial support for all education institutions, which is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

The Department is communicating regularly, via a number of channels, with schools, supply agencies and teaching unions on the support available for supply staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c ) contract staff in his Department have teaching qualifications.

The Department does not hold information on whether civil servants, special advisers or contract staff have teaching qualifications.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to halt the introduction of baseline English and Maths assessments for reception children in England in the 2020-21 academic year as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department understands the challenging circumstances schools are facing and is working closely with our delivery partners to keep progress towards the reception baseline assessment under regular review. We are gathering feedback from stakeholders on a range of options and will be providing further guidance to schools in the summer term.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the data entitled Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance in education and early years settings published by his Department on 21 April 2020, what proportion of the children classified as vulnerable were (a) classified as children in need and (b) hold an Education, Health and Care plan.

24,000 of the children in attendance on Friday 17 April were classed by schools as vulnerable. Of these, around 6,000 had an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, and 14,000 were children in need (reported by schools as having a social worker). The remainder were unknown, where schools either did not provide this information or the children were classed vulnerable for other reasons. This data corresponds with the last day of the Easter break in most parts of the country.

The department is working with educational settings and local authorities to improve our understanding of the total number of vulnerable children for whom continued attendance at educational establishments would be beneficial and appropriate. This is in recognition of the fact that attendance may not be appropriate for some children, including because of health considerations and risks, and that many children with EHC plans may be able to have their needs met in the home environment. Full guidance on the definition of vulnerable children and options for continued attendance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to local authorities on the circumstances in which it is appropriate to prosecute a parent under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

From Friday 20 March, schools, colleges and early years settings?have been closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

We have asked local authorities to suspend any penalty notice action or prosecutions for COVID-19 related absence with immediate effect. Local authorities should update their Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices to make this clear. New cases should not be taken forward and any cases from 16 March should be withdrawn. This approach should also be applied to prosecutions for non-attendance.

Guidance has been issued on providing support for vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs or disabilities, during the current period of school closures. Schools, colleges, other training providers and local authorities will need to work with parents to make a risk assessment for each child and young person with an education, health and care plan and decide whether their needs should be met though the continuation of provision in their educational setting, or they are able to have their needs met at home.

The latest guidance for schools and other education settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that parents whose children are (a) unable to and (b) choose not to attend school because of (i) special educational needs and (ii) a disability during the covid-19 outbreak are not prosecuted under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

From Friday 20 March, schools, colleges and early years settings?have been closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

We have asked local authorities to suspend any penalty notice action or prosecutions for COVID-19 related absence with immediate effect. Local authorities should update their Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices to make this clear. New cases should not be taken forward and any cases from 16 March should be withdrawn. This approach should also be applied to prosecutions for non-attendance.

Guidance has been issued on providing support for vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs or disabilities, during the current period of school closures. Schools, colleges, other training providers and local authorities will need to work with parents to make a risk assessment for each child and young person with an education, health and care plan and decide whether their needs should be met though the continuation of provision in their educational setting, or they are able to have their needs met at home.

The latest guidance for schools and other education settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the statement that the UK will consider options for participation in elements of Erasmus+ on page 21 of the paper entitled, The future relationship with the EU: the UK’s approach to negotiations, CP 211, whether the Government plans to seek (a) partner or (b) programme country status within Erasmus+ after 2021.

As we set out in the UK’s approach to negotiations, we remain open to the UK participating in elements of the Erasmus+ programme, on a time-limited basis, provided the terms are in the UK’s interest.

The specific terms under which the UK could participate in the programme are subject to the future negotiations with the EU, which we hope to conclude as soon as possible.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 21 of the paper entitled, The future relationship with the EU: the UK’s approach to negotiations, CP211, if it is his policy to develop an alternative student mobility scheme after the end of the time-limited participation in Erasmus+.

As we have set out in the UK’s approach to negotiations, we remain open to the UK participating in elements of the Erasmus+ programme on a time-limited basis provided that the terms are in the UK’s interest.

In parallel with the ongoing negotiations, we continue to develop a domestic alternative scheme as part of preparing for every eventuality.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children that were excluded in each London borough were (a) male and (b) BAME.

The National Statistics release ‘Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England 2017 to 2018’ includes information on the number and rate of permanent and fixed period exclusions.

The release is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england-2017-to-2018.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans publish a response to his Department’s consultation on children not in school, which closed in June 2019.

In spring 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school.

Almost 5000 responses were received to the consultation which closed in June 2019. They have now been considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps will be issued in due course.

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether undergraduate students wanting to study abroad in the (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22 academic year will be able to do so through the Erasmus+ scheme.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. We expect Higher Education mobilities being bid for in 2020 will include some mobilities for academic year 2020-21 and academic year 2021-22, depending on the specific details of individual projects.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated within the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU programmes must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin. The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

The Department for Education is the national authority for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Department oversees the work of the UK National Agency, which is responsible for the management and delivery of the programme across the UK. The UK National Agency have been issuing guidance to UK universities with the support of the Department for Education.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and is considering a wide range of options with regard to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to UK universities on preparing student and staff exchanges for the (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22 academic year.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. We expect Higher Education mobilities being bid for in 2020 will include some mobilities for academic year 2020-21 and academic year 2021-22, depending on the specific details of individual projects.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated within the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU programmes must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin. The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

The Department for Education is the national authority for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Department oversees the work of the UK National Agency, which is responsible for the management and delivery of the programme across the UK. The UK National Agency have been issuing guidance to UK universities with the support of the Department for Education.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and is considering a wide range of options with regard to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which local authorities pay foster carers less than the minimum weekly allowance recommended by his Department.

The Department for Education does not collect data in relation to the national minimum allowance (NMA).

The National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services are clear that every foster parent should receive an allowance that covers the full cost of caring for a child. Whilst local authorities determine the allowance paid to foster parents in their area, the NMA serves as a baseline to the minimum amount that foster parents can expect to receive per week to cover the cost of a child living in their home. Whilst it is not mandatory in regulations, we expect all fostering services to pay at least this amount.

We are continuing to work with fostering services and others in the sector to ensure that the support offered to foster parents meets their needs.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Written Statement of 30 January 2020, Schools Funding updates HCWS78, whether funding to increase the pupil premium in line with inflation in 2020-21 is included in the £2.6 billion increase in schools funding in 2020-21 announced in the 2019 Spending Round.

Funding to increase the pupil premium in line with inflation in 2020-21 is included in the £2.6 billion increase announced in the 2019 Spending Round.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse was of (a) designing and (b) promoting the web page entitled View national funding formula allocations for your school: 2020 to 2021 on the Department’s website.

The cost of designing the webpage entitled, ‘View national funding formula allocations for your school: 2020 to 2021’, was £112,125.

No specific resource or cost was dedicated to the promotion of the new National Funding Formula website, which formed part of wider communications work that the Department carries out on an ongoing basis.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of his officials were involved in the (a) design and (b) promotion of the View national funding formula for schools web page on his Department’s website.

5.5 full time equivalent digital staff were involved in the design of the 'View national funding formula for schools webpage', with support from a policy official.

No specific resource or cost was dedicated to the promotion of the new National Funding Formula website, which formed part of wider communications work that the Department carries out on an ongoing basis.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to respond to Sir Philip Augar's review of Post-18 Education and Funding.

​Philip Augar and his independent panel have made thoughtful recommendations on tuition fee levels and loan repayment, the balance of funding between universities, further education, apprenticeships and adult education, and we will consider all these recommendations carefully.

We are considering the report carefully but have not yet taken decisions with regard to the recommendations put forward.

As my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation announced on 20 January at education oral questions, the Government will conclude the review alongside the next Spending Review, providing the sector with clarity about the future of post-18 education and funding.

We want to ensure we have an education system that is accessible to all and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answers of 21 January 2020 to Questions 4479, 4480 and 4481 on the Erasmus+ Programme, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the proposed Erasmus regulation for 2021-27 as adopted by the European Parliament on 28 March 2019, text number P8_TA(2019)0324.

Ministers and officials do not attend trilogues as these are held between the Presidency, the Commission and the representatives from the European Parliament’s CULT committee.

As stated in my answer of 21 January 2020 to Questions 4479, 4480 and 4481, the proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised.

The government highly values international exchange and cooperation in education and training and, as noted in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have attended (i) trilogues, (ii) meetings of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the EU and (iii) other relevant meetings to determine the response of the Council of Ministers to the proposed Erasmus regulation for 2021-27 adopted by the European Parliament on 28 March 2019; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the position taken by the Council to date.

Ministers and officials do not attend trilogues as these are held between the Presidency, the Commission and the representatives from the European Parliament’s CULT committee.

As stated in my answer of 21 January 2020 to Questions 4479, 4480 and 4481, the proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised.

The government highly values international exchange and cooperation in education and training and, as noted in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to conclude its investigation into the reasons why an unauthorised third party was given access to data held by the Learning Records Service.

The recent use of the Learning Records Service by a data broker was unauthorised and not sanctioned by the department. There was no data released about individual learners, only a confirmation or denial that a record existed.

The department is conducting thorough and urgent investigations into this which will conclude shortly.

In addition to internal investigations, the department is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office to provide information on the events around this unsanctioned and unauthorised use of the Learning Records Service data by a third party.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the conclusions of his Department’s investigation into the reasons why an unauthorised third party was given access to data held by the Learning Records Service.

The recent use of the Learning Records Service by a data broker was unauthorised and not sanctioned by the department. There was no data released about individual learners, only a confirmation or denial that a record existed.

The department is conducting thorough and urgent investigations into this which will conclude shortly.

In addition to internal investigations, the department is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office to provide information on the events around this unsanctioned and unauthorised use of the Learning Records Service data by a third party.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment the Government has made of whether continued participation in Erasmus from 2021 would deliver value for money for the Government.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. We do not yet know the specifics of the next programme and therefore it is not appropriate to talk in terms of any preferred option. We will of course assess the value for money of ongoing Erasmus+ participation in light of the finalised programme design.

The UK government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons the number of people using Care to Learn has fallen by 64 per cent since 2013-14.

Over recent years, demand for the Care to Learn scheme has fallen. The most significant reason for this fall in demand is the reduction in teenage pregnancy rates, which are now at an all-time low. There has also been a reduction in the number of young people in the population. The Government continues to make Care to Learn available to young parents in qualifying education, where they are aged under 20 at the start of their course and meet the scheme requirements.

When developing the Care to Learn application and payment systems, the Government must ensure that public funding is used appropriately. In developing the systems, the Government reviewed the data required to establish student eligibility and to pay childcare providers and designed the system to request only the minimum information to carry out these checks. The Government plans to keep the service under review and to ensure the process of claiming Care to Learn is as simple as possible.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to simplify the process of claiming financial support through Care to Learn.

Over recent years, demand for the Care to Learn scheme has fallen. The most significant reason for this fall in demand is the reduction in teenage pregnancy rates, which are now at an all-time low. There has also been a reduction in the number of young people in the population. The Government continues to make Care to Learn available to young parents in qualifying education, where they are aged under 20 at the start of their course and meet the scheme requirements.

When developing the Care to Learn application and payment systems, the Government must ensure that public funding is used appropriately. In developing the systems, the Government reviewed the data required to establish student eligibility and to pay childcare providers and designed the system to request only the minimum information to carry out these checks. The Government plans to keep the service under review and to ensure the process of claiming Care to Learn is as simple as possible.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 1918 on the Erasmus+ Programme, what factors he will consider when determining if it is in the UK's interest to participate in Erasmus from 2021.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. We do not yet know the specifics of the next programme and therefore it is not appropriate to talk in terms of any preferred option. We will of course assess the value for money of ongoing Erasmus+ participation in light of the finalised programme design.

The UK government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 1918 on the Erasmus+ Programme, whether it is his preferred option to seek associate membership of Erasmus from 2021.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. We do not yet know the specifics of the next programme and therefore it is not appropriate to talk in terms of any preferred option. We will of course assess the value for money of ongoing Erasmus+ participation in light of the finalised programme design.

The UK government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he is having with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how local sexual health services can be utilised to assist with education on HIV and sexual health under the new relationships and sex education guidance.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, meets regularly with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the Department for Education's agenda. This includes relevant topics covered by the new subjects of Relationships Education (for primary age pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for secondary age pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools). The Department is working with Public Health England (PHE), through the RSHE Working Group, to promote join-up on these issues locally.

PHE have regional leads who work with local sexual health services and schools and they provide support to schools with aspects of curriculum delivery; for example with resources covering a range of health issues including sexually transmitted diseases.

In addition, the Department is working with local authorities to understand the breadth of support available for all schools, and what further support local authorities need to ensure strategic co-ordination of school improvement and health priorities.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce a capital expansion fund for sixth form providers.

Our ambition is to level up the skills of the entire nation and ensure that post-16 education providers are in a great shape to deliver this. We are considering how best to achieve this ambition and we will announce details of future capital funding in due course. This will build on the significant uplift in recurrent funding for 16-19 education which we are putting in place for the 2020/21 academic year.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Education Policy Institute's Annual Report on access to child and adolescent mental health services, published on 10 January 2020; and what steps his Department will take with the Department of Health and Social Care to (a) increase the accountability of mental health providers in England and (b) reduce waiting times for their services.

The Department for Education (DfE) has a joint and ambitious programme of work with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England, and Health Education England to improve children and young people’s mental health provision in and around schools and colleges. This is being achieved by delivering the proposals set out in the green paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

These proposals include implementing new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in 20-25% of the country by 2023. The MHSTs will support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health issues and help children and young people with more severe needs to access the right support, and provide a link to specialist NHS services. The DfE is also funding the national roll-out of the Link Programme, from October 2019 to 2023, to improve partnership working between schools and colleges and NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

The DfE has not assessed the policy implications of the Education Policy Institute’s report. The responsibility for mental health provision as considered by the report, including increasing the accountability of mental health providers in England and reducing waiting times for their services, is the responsibility of the DHSC.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) per-pupil funding for sixth form students and (b) funding for sixth form students' maintenance costs.

We are investing an extra £400 million in 16 to 19 education next year to ensure we are building on the skills that our country needs. We will increase the base rate of funding by 4.7%, from £4,000 to £4,188 for the academic year 2020/21. Over and above the base rate rise, this extra spending also includes new resources for high value and high cost courses and funding to support those on level 3 programmes to continue to study English and maths where needed. This is the biggest injection of new money into 16 to 19 education in a single year since 2010 - with funding increasing faster for 16 to 19 than in 5 to 16 schooling – and will mean a significant increase in the average level of funding per student. We will of course continue to look at the needs of 16 to 19 education in future Spending Reviews.

Maintenance costs are not required or provided for sixth form students in the same way as they are required, for example, for students in higher education, because most 16 to 19 year olds live at home. However, financial support is available for disadvantaged students through discretionary bursaries to help with costs such as travel. In addition, bursaries of up to £1,200 a year are available for students in defined vulnerable groups (mainly those living independently or without family financial support), and free meals are also available for disadvantaged students.

We are changing how we allocate the 16 to 19 discretionary bursary fund from the academic year 2020/2021. We will be using up-to-date patterns of disadvantage, and the expected level of support required for travel and industry placement costs, as the basis for funding. This will create institution level allocations that are better matched to student need across the country. There is also financial support available for young parents’ childcare costs and for essential accommodation for financially disadvantaged students where they need to live away from home to participate in a study programme or to attend one of the designated institutions delivering specialist provision.

This funding and financial support has contributed to the current record high proportion of 16 and 17 year olds who are participating in education or apprenticeships since consistent records began.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Office for Students plans to publish (a) a register of the recipients of students' personal confidential data and (b) its terms of reference on data distribution.

The Office for Students (OfS) was established through the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), which gave it operational independence in the regulation of the higher education sector. This extends to the holding and sharing of different types of data. In December 2018 the OfS published its data strategy, setting out:

“Where we share data with third parties in support of our regulatory activities, we will only do so where we can be sure that the rights and privacy of individuals are assured. We will ensure that those that process students’ data on our behalf operate to the same high standards. Our uses of data should never go beyond those that students might expect from a responsible regulator acting in their interests.”

Further to this, the OfS Data Protection and Privacy Policy sets out how it complies with data protection legislation. This is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/ofs-privacy.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of students who had personal confidential data distributed by the Office for Students to third parties since its inception in January 2018; and to which third parties that data was distributed.

The Office for Students (OfS) was established through the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), which gave it operational independence in the regulation of the higher education sector. This extends to the holding and sharing of different types of data. In December 2018 the OfS published its data strategy, setting out:

“Where we share data with third parties in support of our regulatory activities, we will only do so where we can be sure that the rights and privacy of individuals are assured. We will ensure that those that process students’ data on our behalf operate to the same high standards. Our uses of data should never go beyond those that students might expect from a responsible regulator acting in their interests.”

Further to this, the OfS Data Protection and Privacy Policy sets out how it complies with data protection legislation. This is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/ofs-privacy.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it his policy to negotiate continued membership of the Erasmus programme as part of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement Erasmus participation is protected for the transition period. Students, young people and learners will be able to participate fully and for the duration of their exchange in the remainder of the current programme and organisations can continue to bid for Erasmus+ funding to the end of 2020. Organisations should continue to apply for funding as usual.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

As my right Hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has made clear, the government wants to work to continue to build academic cooperation between the UK and the EU. As we enter negotiations on our future relationship with the EU, we want to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from (a) universities, (b) colleges and (c) students’ unions on the UK’s participation in Erasmus after the UK leaves the EU.

The government highly values international exchange and cooperation in education and training and recognises the benefits that such cooperation brings. As we prepare to leave the EU, the department has engaged widely with stakeholder groups across the UK, which we will continue to do. In particular, we have received representations from sector bodies such as Universities UK, the Association of Colleges, the Russell Group, MillionPlus and the National Union of Students.

As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has made clear, the government wants to work to continue to build academic cooperation between the UK and the EU. As we enter negotiations on our future relationship with the EU, we want to ensure that UK students and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives. We remain open to participation in Erasmus and this will be part of future negotiations with the EU.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his proposals to remove the exemption for outstanding schools from regular Ofsted inspections requires primary legislation.

On 10 January, the Department launched a consultation on removing the exemption from routine inspection that applies to schools judged outstanding by Ofsted. Subject to the outcome of this consultation, the Department will seek Parliamentary approval to lift the exemption. This will require secondary legislation, which needs to be approved by Parliament through the affirmative process. Regulations are required to revoke the Education (Exemption from School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/1293) and changes will also need to be made to the Education (School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/2038).

14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of sewage discharges into the River Thames on the health of (a) dogs and (b) other pets.

The Government is clear that the volume of sewage being discharged into our waters in unacceptable. That is why our Plan for Water sets out more investment, stronger regulation, and tougher enforcement to tackle pollution and clean up our water.

Alongside this, our Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan sets clear and specific targets for water companies, regulators and the Government, to work towards the long-term ambition of eliminating ecological harm from storm overflows.

No specific assessment has been undertaken on the impact of sewage discharges on dogs and pets.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the evidence required for bathing status designation, how many swimmers are considered adequate to reach the threshold of a large number of people.

The Bathing Water Regulations 2013 require the Secretary of State to identify and maintain a list of the surface waters in England where she expects a large number of people to bathe. All applications for bathing water designation are assessed against this criterion and other criterion as set out in the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 and in the guidance available at Bathing waters: apply for designation or de-designation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sewage release incidents took place in the UK in 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she provides additional resources to community groups and water companies in areas with excellent or good bathing water status to help maintain water quality.

The Government does not fund water company investment, water companies raise funds through private mechanisms and customer bills which is highly regulated. However the EA works closely with partners to help maintain water quality and deliver bathing water regulations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Environmental Information Regulations relating to sewage cases have been submitted to her Department since 1 January 2005; and how many have been rejected on (a) being manifestly unreasonable, (b) relating to unfinished documents or incomplete at date of receiving and (c) protection of environment.

Defra only retains Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) requests for three years. Cases prior to this have been destroyed in line with our retention schedule.

The number of EIR requests managed in Defra with ‘sewage’ in the case title since 2019 is 14.

a) None of those were refused under regulation 12(4)(b) of the EIRs which relates to manifestly unreasonable.

b) None of those were refused as under regulation 12(4)(d) of the EIRs which relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data.

c) None of those were refused as under regulation 12(5)(g) of the EIRs which relates to the protection of the environment to which the information relates.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to introduce additional penalties for water companies that miss pollution incident reduction targets consistently over 5 years.

Ofwat has recently announced financial penalties of almost £150 million applying to 11 water companies. These penalties are the result of missed targets on areas such as water supply interruptions, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding. This money will be returned to customers through water bills in the next financial year.

Since 2015, the Environment Agency has brought 54 prosecutions against water companies, securing fines of almost £140 million. On 9 July 2021, Southern Water was handed a record £90 million fine after pleading guilty to thousands of illegal discharges of sewage that polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, Hampshire and Sussex. The fine will be paid solely from the company's operating profits, not customer bills.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding his Department has made available to the Environment Agency to (a) monitor and (b) classify bathing water in beaches and waterways in each of the last five years.

The Environment Agency is allocated Environment Protection Grant in Aid funding in total from Government rather than Grant in Aid by activity. This is then allocated to teams delivering Environment Protection. A range of different teams delivering Environmental Protection contribute towards bathing water quality as well as other core outcomes. This limits breakdown beyond the level set out below, which represents a total of resource and capital funding. However, funding for 2022/23 includes £2.2 million, specifically for water company enforcement activity, including at least 4,000 farm visits per year and 500 sewerage inspections.

£m

18/19

19/20

20/21

21/22

22/23

Environment Protection Grant in Aid funding

70

74

94

127

142

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

No payments for non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements relating to employment, bullying, misconduct or harassment cases have been agreed by the department since 2019. Information for the years prior to that is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of officials in his Department involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law Dashboard in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the cost to the public purse of recording that information.

Defra has a large body of Retained EU Law (REUL). To ensure as much of this as possible was captured, a central coordinating function was responsible for ensuring completion of the Cabinet Office commission. In addition, numerous officials from across Defra were involved in producing and contributing information for inclusion in the dashboard. This work was carried out as part of officials’ normal business activities, and we did not record the amount of staff time spent specifically on this work.

Since it has not been possible to make an accurate estimate of staff time, we cannot give an accurate estimate of costs. All costs associated with data collection were met as part of Defra’s normal administrative budgets.

There has been no additional non-pay cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard. The process was led by the Cabinet Office, who commissioned Government Departments to find REUL within their legislation and compile an authoritative account of where REUL sits on the UK statute book.

The dashboard itself is made by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted on Tableau Public, which is a free platform for hosting public dashboards. The dashboard will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent stop tourist companies promoting holidays that support cruel treatment of captive Asian elephants.

This Government takes the welfare of all animals seriously and the Government has been made aware that animals including Asian elephants, that are part of tourist attractions, can be subjected to cruel and brutal training practices to ensure their compliance.

As set out in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are committed to promoting high animal welfare standards, both at home and abroad. We have engaged with the travel industry and other stakeholder organisations, and we support measures which ensure that money from tourists from this country is not channelled towards animal experiences abroad that involve the unacceptable treatment of animals.

The Government is committed to exploring available options to deliver the action plan, including to limit the advertising and offering for sale of these experiences.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding his Department has made available to support local authorities seeking to apply for bathing water status for beaches and waterways in their areas.

There is no funding made available but there is guidance to help applicants on gov.uk. The information requested is the minimum needed to assess whether the site meets the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013. My department has committed to revising its guidance to make it clearer and we will reduce burdens where possible.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding his Department has made available to support organisations and charities seeking to make applications for bathing water status.

There is no funding made available but there is guidance to help applicants on gov.uk. The information requested is the minimum needed to assess whether the site meets the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013. My department has committed to revising its guidance to make it clearer and we will reduce burdens where possible.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact of proposed reforms to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 on small burial grounds across the country.

From September to December 2021, Defra held a public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (EPR). The consultation proposed that the EPR should be amended to allow the Environment Agency to issue an exemption from permitting for small-scale cemeteries in low environmental risk settings. The consultation set out a draft of these exemption conditions that defined the circumstances where cemeteries could be exempt from needing a groundwater activity permit.

The Government assessed that the introduction of exemption conditions for small scale cemeteries would have only a small impact on the sector because there are no fees associated with this new approach. If an operator can comply with the rules as set out in the exemption conditions, they do not need to apply for or pay for a permit. There would be some small familiarisation costs incurred, but the exemption conditions and accompanying guidance will be concise and easy to understand for a non-technical expert.

We received a range of responses during the consultation, including from the cemetery sector. The Government is reviewing consultation responses and is undertaking further stakeholder engagement to assess the proposed cemetery exemption conditions accordingly. Our Government response to the consultation will be published in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the alternative of bringing new water to the Thames Valley via a Severn Thames Transfer pipeline is considered effectively by the Ofwat/RAPID scrutiny process.

The Environment Agency’s National Framework for water resources, published in 2020, identified that between 2025 and 2050 around 3,435 million additional litres of water per day will be needed for public water supply.

Water companies have a statutory duty to provide a secure supply of water for customers, efficiently and economically. Statutory water resources management plans show how companies will continue to meet this duty and manage water supply and demand for at least the next 25 years. In their plans, water companies must consider all options, including demand management and water resources infrastructure.

Collaborative regional water resources groups and water companies are preparing their water resources plans for consultations during 2022. Thames Water will formally consult publicly on its draft water resources management plan at the end of 2022, on which, both Ofwat and the Environment Agency are statutory consultees. Ofwat/RAPID’s ongoing scrutiny of proposed strategic water resources schemes will also improve the statutory plans.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the average timeframe for receiving approval for an application for bathing water status.

We aim to assess and make decisions within 4-6 months of receiving an application so that new designations can be added to the following year’s list of designated bathing waters before the start of the season on 15 May. However, as every application is different, in some instances it can take longer.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to halt and reverse population declines in (a) skylarks and (b) other farmland birds.

In England, the Countryside Stewardship scheme provides funding for a range of options which support farmland birds by increasing important food sources such as seeds and pollinators, providing nesting and roosting sites, and creating habitats for birds and other species. The scheme has a specific option which supports skylarks by providing nesting habitats in winter cereal crops throughout their breeding season.

As part of our environmental land management approach, participants are able to select from an initial set of eight standards to build their own agreements. Several of these standards contain actions to support birds. For example, the Arable and Horticultural Land Standard aims to support increased farmland biodiversity, including wild bird and pollinator populations through specific actions that will provide year-round resources for farmland birds and insects. Further, the Low and No Input Grassland Standard contains an additional action in its advanced level to provide habitat for wading birds.

Schemes that reward environmental land management will support local environmental priorities while making an important contribution to the delivery of our ambitious national targets and commitments, such as the target to be set to halt the decline of species abundance by 2030 and the establishment of a Nature Recovery Network. For example, the new Landscape Recovery scheme will support the delivery of landscape and ecosystem recovery through long-term, large scale projects, such as by creating woodland and restoring wetland and peatland. The new Local Nature Recovery scheme will also include creating, managing and restoring habitats on a smaller scale.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to migratory birds, what steps are the Government taking (a) nationally and (b) internationally to mitigate species decline.

The UK is a globally important territory for migratory birds, and that is why we continue to take steps nationally and internationally to mitigate species decline. This is underpinned by our new target under the Environment Act 2021, to halt species decline by 2030.

In England, the Countryside Stewardship scheme can help to mitigate species decline, including migratory birds, through a range of options which provide food, habitat and nesting sites. Migratory birds which can be supported through the scheme include lapwing, stone curlew, turtle dove, whitethroat, redshank and snipe.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan commits us to restoring 75% of our one million hectares of terrestrial and freshwater protected sites to favourable condition by 2042. Many of these sites, which in total cover over 1 million hectares, protect the habitats of migratory birds even if not specifically notified for those species. Defra and the Devolved Administrations commissioned a review of the terrestrial and coastal UK network of Special Protection Areas, some of which are designated to protect the habitats of regularly-occurring migratory birds, and we have developed an England implementation plan in liaison with Natural England.

The Government continues to support specific conservation action for species, such as the curlew, and as part of the Nature Recovery Network (NRN), we have funded a trial translocation and recovery project in the east of England. We have also supported a range of successful reintroductions for migratory raptors including the white-tailed eagle to southern England.

Internationally, the UK is a signatory to, and proactively engaged with, a number of international agreements which seek to conserve and protect migratory birds and their habitats, in particular the Convention on Migratory Species, the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and the International Task Force on Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean. In addition to domestic financial support, the UK provides targeted funding to support the conservation of threatened migratory birds and their habitats in developing countries, in particular in Africa.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 November 2021 to Question 59130, on Nature Conservation, when badger culls will be included in the Government's bovine tuberculosis eradication strategy in the event that epidemiological evidence points to a reservoir of disease in badgers.

We are still developing our future policy of badger culling where epidemiological evidence points to a reservoir of disease in badgers. Once the policy has been developed further, we intend to consult on the proposals.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications were received for bathing water status (a) for coastal areas, (b) for inland waters and (c) in total from 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021.

Between 1 November 2020 and 31 October 2021, Defra has received a total of four applications for bathing water designation: two applications at coastal areas and two applications for inland waters. All applications are currently under consideration.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to publish an updated wildlife control policy in terms of (a) epidemiological-led culling and (b) wildlife monitoring.

There are no current plans to publish an updated bovine TB policy in terms of epidemiological-led culling of wildlife or wildlife monitoring. Our response in March 2020 to Professor Sir Charles Godfray’s review of government’s bovine tuberculosis eradication strategy set out plans to evolve badger control policy with increased support for badger vaccination, following the wide-scale deployment of effective, industry-led intensive badger culling.

We are now developing measures to make badger vaccination, combined with biosecurity, the focus of addressing risks from wildlife as an exit strategy from intensive culling. Our aim is to allow future badger culls only where the epidemiological evidence points to a reservoir of disease in badgers.

There is little evidence to suggest tuberculosis in other wildlife species is a significant problem that is driving the epidemic in cattle in England. There are no plans, therefore, to control other wildlife species.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will extend the Property Flood Resilience Grants Scheme to cover people who have been flooded since December 2020.

Flooding has a devastating impact on communities, businesses and individuals. The Government closely monitors the impact on affected areas.

The decision to trigger financial support from central Government is taken collectively by Ministers in the event of severe weather events with significant impacts on a wide area. In reaching a decision, Ministers consider factors such as severity, duration and extent of the impacts.

During unprecedented flooding in the winter of 2019/2020, the Government announced Property Flooding Resilience (PFR) repair grants of up to £5,000 to help eligible properties affected by floods become more flood resilient. The repair grants apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more severely flooded properties. Currently, 52 district and unitary councils with over 7700 properties are eligible in England for the November 2019 and February 2020 PFR repair schemes.

The reported impacts during events since December 2020 suggest the numbers of internally flooded properties have been lower than would justify activation of the PFR Repair Scheme. With localised flooding incidents, local authorities are expected to have well established contingency arrangements in place and to be able to support their local communities from within existing budgets. Councils have discretionary powers to fund grants or loans for home improvements, this can include funding for PFR measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to food producers to ensure a regular food supply during winter 2020-21.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. Our food security depends on supply from diverse sources, from strong domestic production as well as imports from stable and diverse sources. This ensures that any disruption from risks such as adverse weather or disease does not affect the UK’s overall security of supply.

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned from the range of interventions deployed during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for planning on food supply this winter.

We are currently working alongside industry and across Government including with the Devolved Administrations to review our plans for the end of this year. These will incorporate the potential concurrence of further peaks of Covid-19, supply chain risks at the end of the transition period and other potential risks such as severe weather and seasonal flu.

Through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group (UKAMMG), Defra and the Devolved Administrations we continue to monitor the market situation across various agricultural commodities. The group will enable us to remain agile and to identify, and respond as required, to any unforeseen impacts on food producers.

The Government appreciates that parts of the food and farming sectors are currently facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Farmers and food processors are, where eligible, able to apply for public support through the various Covid-19 related Government schemes including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). On 24 September, the Government announced an extension to its access to finance schemes to 30 November 2020 for new applicants and introduced ‘Pay as you Grow’ options for BBLS borrowers, who will be offered more time and greater flexibility for their repayments.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving Designated Bathing Water Status to a stretch of the River Thames in Oxford.

Bathing waters are designated through an application process and Defra welcomes applications for designation for both coastal and inland waters such as rivers. Local authorities, groups and individuals can apply for sites to be designated. Defra encourages this by writing to the Chief Executive of every local authority in England, as well as by sending similar letters to other stakeholders like swimming associations. It is these local authorities and stakeholders who will best know which popular riverside bathing areas may be suitable for designation.

All applications are considered in line with our usual process, the details of which are available on gov.uk. There is currently a consultation seeking the public’s views on a proposal submitted by a local group to designate an area of the River Wharfe, between Ilkley Main Bridge and Beanlands Island, as a designated bathing water. The consultation ends 2 October.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 60655 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install more solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes taking action to increase the use of renewable energy across the Government estate. Where this relates to solar panels and wind turbines on buildings occupied by Defra, active consideration will be given to installation.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2020 to Question 59351 on Energy, what proportion of the electricity used by his Department's buildings in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2020 to date was produced by solar panels and wind turbines on those buildings.

The amounts of renewable energy generated by Defra Group including the Environment Agency, Kew Gardens and Forestry Commission over the last five years are included in the attached table.

We have used between 0.1% and 1.3% of renewable energy generated from our buildings over the last five years.

The amount of renewable electricity used each year varies, due to differing parts of the department using renewable and non-renewable electricity. The differing amounts these constitute vary each year depending on operational need.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2020 to Question 19056 on Aviation, what estimate he has made of the CO2 emissions generated by the accumulated air miles in each of the last five years; and what steps his Department is taking to offset those emissions.

Based on the miles that were flown as given in my answer to PQ 19056, Defra has emitted the following amounts of carbon dioxide (CO 2).

Year

Mileage

Tonnes of CO2

2015

1,523,505

302

2016

1,239,659

224

2017

1,892,968

307

2018

3,312,017

579

2019

3,329,349

540

2020

160,695

26

Since 2009-10 the department has reduced its CO2 emissions by 49% in 2019-20. Rather than offsetting our emissions, we have done this through investing in energy efficiency measures across our estate, reducing the amount of travel we do and changing the way we travel to lower CO2 emitting forms of transport, shrinking our estate and we have benefitted from the UK grid becoming greener. All of these measures have contributed to our fall in CO2 emissions.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much of the additional budget for flooding will be spent on flood alleviation in (a) Abingdon, (b) Oxford City and (c) Oxfordshire.

The Government is currently investing £2.6 billion across the country to deliver more than 1,000 flood defence projects to better protect 300,000 homes by 2021. Since 2015, £24 million has been spent in Oxfordshire to reduce the risk of flooding. The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme is fully funded, and construction is due to begin after the replacement of the A423 Kennington Railway Bridge.

We are spending £5.62 million in Oxfordshire this year of which £2.3 million is on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme which, when completed, will protect 1,200 homes. The rest of the money spent this year is towards other schemes, including looking at the early feasibility for schemes that could provide protection in the future if viable

In Abingdon, the previously proposed flood storage area to reduce flood risk is not being progressed due to the low number of properties that will have their flood risk reduced. Other options are currently being considered for the town.

Government funding is governed by the rules of the Partnership Funding Policy and the formula for allocating the Government’s contribution is weighted towards protecting people’s lives and homes.

The Environment Agency will continue to work with Oxfordshire County Council on solutions for flooding across the county.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to create direct elections to national park governing boards.

National Park Authority members are selected by constituent local authorities or parish councils or are appointed by the Secretary of State following open competition.

The independent review of Designated Landscapes led by Julian Glover, published in 2019, proposed reforms to the governance of National Parks. The proposed reforms do not include direct elections to National Park Authorities. The Government is carefully considering the Glover proposals and will respond in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many air miles were accumulated by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in his Department in (i) the last six months and (ii) each calendar year since 2015.

The Department has flown 1,203,364 miles in the last six months (based on the date flights were invoiced).

The table below shows the number of miles by calendar year since 2015 (based on the date the flights were invoiced).

Year

Mileage

2015

1,523,505

2016

1,239,659

2017

1,892,968

2018

3,312,017

2019

3,329,349

2020 (to date)

160,695

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that support for the deployment of offshore wind generation capacity to meet net zero emissions targets does not harm international marine species and habitats.

We fully support the growth of offshore wind and recognise the essential role it plays in meeting the net zero target. Defra has a significant interest in offshore wind development in terms of its potential to contribute to meeting the Government’s climate change commitments, and we also have a critical role in ensuring the protection of our marine environment, particularly across our network of designated Marine Protected Areas.

We are working with other Government bodies, the Crown Estate, industry and wider stakeholders to mitigate against, and prepare for, any environmental impacts of growth in the offshore wind sector. This programme of measures will enable the responsible and sustainable growth of offshore wind.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 60656 on Renewable energy, what plans her Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

DFID has two offices in the UK, one at 22 Whitehall and the other at Abercrombie House, East Kilbride.

While there are no current plans to install solar panels and wind turbines at either of our UK offices, we are keeping this under constant review and considering options and opportunities as they arise.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to support (a) healthcare services and (b) disease prevention in Gaza since the covid-19 outbreak.

The UN assesses that although the current number of detected cases remains relatively low in Gaza and the West Bank, the capacity of the Palestinian health system to cope with an increase in COVID-19 cases is poor, including the low availability of PPE and ventilators. The situation is particularly severe in Gaza, where the health system has shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK has pledged £764 million to support the global humanitarian response to COVID-19. We have delivered additional vital support in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by providing funding to the World Health Organization and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity. I also recently announced £20 million in new funding, which will help the Palestinian Authority support its health workers who have been on the frontline battling coronavirus.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to help ensure that as schools reopen internationally, girls are not prevented from returning to education.

Ensuring 12 years of quality education for all children, especially girls, is a UK priority, particularly in responding to the COVID 19 pandemic. We are helping to mitigate the short-term risks to children by focussing on their safety, nutrition, wellbeing and learning whilst schools are closed. The UK has announced £20 million for UNICEF’s crisis appeal, which includes education, and a further £5 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund to support emergency education in fragile contexts.

Getting girls and the most marginalised back to school is one of the most important challenges the international education community has ever faced. As the Ebola crisis in West Africa showed, girls in particular are highly vulnerable to the socio-economic impacts of the crisis. We are re-orienting our programmes in 18 countries to help education ministries plan for school re-opening. At global level we will support UNICEF’s Re-Opening Better campaign, with particular focus on the needs of girls and the most marginalised children.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure existing programmes funded by her Department can be adapted to respond to covid-19 so that development progress is not lost.

We are maximising the UK’s efforts to tackle COVID-19 by adapting and scaling up existing programmes where they can respond to the crisis. In country, we are working quickly to pivot our programming to support the COVID-19 response, reinforcing health, humanitarian, social protection or economic support programmes.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

The Department for International Trade has not agreed to any non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements of the nature described in your question since its establishment in July 2016. This response also includes UK Export Finance.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the cost to the public purse has been of legal advice sought by the Government on trade deals in each of the last seven years.

As of 12 July 2022, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has spent £2,012,339 on external legal advice to support trade deals. This includes £11,643 in the 2022/23 financial year, £1,281,408 in the 2021/2022 financial year, £479,457 in the 2020/2021 financial year and £239,831 in the 2019/2020 financial year. There was no spend on advice of this nature prior to 2019. Government Legal Department supports a number of DIT’s policy objectives and therefore we cannot separately identify costs on trade deals.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of (a) the number of officials in her Department involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law Dashboard in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the cost to the public purse of recording that information.

Around 15 Department for International Trade officials were involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law (REUL) Dashboard. This is an estimate as work was carried out within teams who lead on relevant policy areas rather than in a dedicated REUL team, and others might have been involved in a more limited capacity. The work was not undertaken on a full-time basis, and the work was completed within a defined window of time.

There has been no additional non-pay cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard. The process was led by the Cabinet Office, who commissioned Government Departments to find REUL within their legislation and compile an authoritative account of where REUL sits on the UK statute book.

The dashboard itself is made by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted on Tableau Public, which is a free platform. It will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the human rights impact of support for clean energy projects overseas by the Government.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is committed to high standards of environmental, social and human rights (ESHR) risk management. It rigorously follows the requirements of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Common Approaches and Equator Principles, which set the framework for export credit agencies and international financial institutions in managing such risks and impacts (including modern slavery risks in supply chains) for all projects in any sector. In addition, UKEF has developed procedures for identifying and assessing potential human rights risks on solar energy transactions that may fall outside the scope of the OECD Common Approaches and Equator Principles, as the solar energy sector was identified as being particularly exposed to potential human rights risks.

UKEF’s specialist ESHR risk management team reviews relevant projects prior to UKEF taking a decision on whether to provide support. ESHR monitoring takes place throughout the lifetime of UKEF’s support for such projects.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 October 2021 to Question 5534, what the exceptional circumstances are in which the Government would provide direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas.

The limited exemptions available to the Government’s policy on support for new fossil fuel projects overseas are set out online at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-government-will-implement-its-policy-on-support-for-the-fossil-fuel-energy-sector-overseas.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many UK arms export licences have been granted to (a) Jaguar Land Rover and (b) MDT Armor Corporation for exports of (i) armoured land rovers and (ii) other land rovers to Israel as at 18 May 2021.

Our records indicate that, between 2000 and 2020, seven licences have been granted to Land Rover Exports Ltd; and no licences have been granted to MDT Armor Corporation.

Of the licences granted to Land Rover Exports Ltd, four were for Land Rover vehicles. Two of the licences were granted for armoured vehicles, for the protection of staff on diplomatic missions, and a further two licences were granted for non-armoured vehicles.

HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’).

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many (a) standard individual export licences and (b) open individual export licences have been granted for the shipment of arms to Ethiopia in the last (i) six and (ii) 12 months.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics on GOV.UK on a quarterly and annual basis on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations. These reports contain detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 13th April 2021, covering the period 1st October to 31st December 2020.

Two Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) were granted for military rated items to Ethiopia between July and December 2020 and no other licences were granted in the six months prior to this period.

Information on licences granted between 1st January to 31st March 2021 will be published as Official Statistics on 13th July 2021; and for licences granted from 1st April to 30th June 2021, information will be published in October 2021.

All export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what impact assessment was conducted by her Department of the human rights record of the Turkish Government prior to the agreement of the UK-Turkey trade deal on 29 December 2020.

The Agreement signed on 29th December transitions existing EU-Turkey trade provisions, as far as possible, into a bilateral arrangement between the United Kingdom and Turkey. The continuity of these provisions gives certainty to businesses trading between the United Kingdom and Turkey, ensuring goods can continue to flow without tariffs.

HM Government is clear that trade does not come at the expense of rights and responsibilities. We have a strong history of promoting our values globally, and we will continue to engage the Turkish Government on these important issues.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60657 on Renewable energy, what plans her Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) does not have plans for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines on the DIT buildings for which GPA is responsible.

However, GPA is developing a ‘Government Office Net Zero Programme’ to support the following targets of HM Government:

  • To reduce the United Kingdom’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels by 2050, making our nation a ‘Net Zero’ emitter

  • To have at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the public sector estate by 2032, against a 2017 baseline.

GPA has committed to the following objectives for the estate they manage:

  • Improve energy efficiency (reduce consumption/improve thermal efficiency)

  • Use green energy (decarbonise)

  • Generate and store green energy (locally)

  • Reduce embodied carbon (in construction)

To meet the third objective, GPA is currently assessing opportunities for the local generation and storage of green energy on a number of buildings within their estate, which may include solar panels and wind turbines.

GPA plans to request funding for the ‘Government Office Net Zero Programme’ as part of the 2020 Spending Review. The buildings that may be in scope, preferred technologies and precise funding are all subject to further development and approval.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made to the cost of the public purse of the (a) staffing and (b) rent of (i) DIT East of England, (ii) DIT North East, (iii) DIT South West, (iv) DIT East Midlands, (v) DIT North West, (vi) DIT West Midlands, (vii) DIT London, (viii) DIT South East, and (ix) DIT Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) staff across the UK operate in a nine-region structure across England, as well as having a presence in Scotland, all of which work to support businesses across the whole of the UK to export and grow overseas, as well as to attract Foreign Direct Investment. The current forecast staff pay costs for these teams in 2019-20 are set out below.

Region

Staff Costs (2019-20)

East of England

£273,867

North East

£265,428

South West

£222,869

East & West Midlands*

£1,374,359

North West

£637,337

London and Scotland**

£507,155

South East

£374,511

Yorkshire and Humber

£420,829

Grand Total

£4,076,355

* Staff costs are recorded against the Midlands as a whole and are not separated between East and West Midlands

** Staff costs for staff who support London and staff who support Scotland are reported together and can not be separated.

Other functions at DIT are not organised into English regions.

The 2019-20 full year forecast staff costs of all civil servants and other staff working in the UK is £139,114,653.

The annual property rental costs in 2019-20 of all DIT’s buildings by English region are:-

Region

Property Rental Costs (2019-20)

East of England

£32,000

North East

£24,000

South West

£20,000

East Midlands

£40,000

West Midlands

£45,692

North West

£39,649

London

£8,973,578

South East

£298,711

Yorkshire and the Humber

£42,695

Grand Total

£9,516,325

These buildings accommodate staff from a number of different teams from across DIT. It is not possible to identify the rental costs of space in these buildings occupied solely by the regional teams supporting businesses to export.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of the printing and postage of the document entitled Exporting: A Toolkit for MPs.

The printing cost of the updated ‘Exporting: A Toolkit for MPs’ that was distributed on 22 January 2019 was £901.56. There were no postage costs incurred.

The Exporting Toolkit has been sent to all Members of Parliament. Those interested in working with the Exporting is GREAT campaign and the Department for International Trade can use the toolkit to help inform businesses in their constituency about international trade and the support available to take advantage of export opportunities.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2019 to Question 260105, what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of the (a) operation, (b) maintenance and (c) promotion of her Department's export hub truck (i) in this financial year to date, (ii) over the last six months and (iii) this calendar year to date.

The Export Hub is a mobile outreach platform that hosts workshops and advice sessions so that businesses across the UK can access Department for International Trade export services on their doorstep. It is available for use by Members of Parliament to help boost exports in their constituencies.

The spend on the Export hub is as follows:

  • In this financial year to date: £1,195,253.34
  • Over the last six months (August 2019 to January 2020): £1,009,189.32
  • This calendar year to date: £100,799.19

We are not able to break these costs down by operation, maintenance and promotion.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department made an assessment of the potential (a) impact of extending Network Rail's closure of Botley Road on local (i) residents and (ii) businesses and (b) merits of alternative proposals prior to granting permission for that extension.

Network Rail, which is delivering the works to increase capacity at Oxford station considered a number of options working closely with Oxford City Council before concluding that the closure of Botley Road should be extended to October 2024. Network Rail will continue to work with local residents, businesses and other stakeholders to minimise disruption.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to delays in driving test appointments, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the eligiblity of a successful driving theory test from two years to three years.

During March 2023, the average waiting time for a car practical driving test in the Oxfordshire area was 14.3 weeks; the national average waiting time was 15.5 weeks.

People can book driving tests up to 6 months before they take their test.

It is important road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point a person drives unsupervised for the first time.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place to ensure a candidate’s road safety knowledge and ability to identify developing hazards is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average waiting times are for a practical driving test appointment in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) England.

During March 2023, the average waiting time for a car practical driving test in the Oxfordshire area was 14.3 weeks; the national average waiting time was 15.5 weeks.

People can book driving tests up to 6 months before they take their test.

It is important road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point a person drives unsupervised for the first time.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place to ensure a candidate’s road safety knowledge and ability to identify developing hazards is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

Exit packages are published in DfT Annual Reports and Accounts and all redundancy, severance and other department costs, are paid in accordance with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (except where instances are detailed in the accounts as otherwise).

In 2015 Cabinet Office guidance outlined that confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements should not be applied in settlement agreements as a matter of course. Since that time, fewer than 5 have been agreed and the values of the packages were reported in the relevant year’s accounts.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans she has to open a fourth round of applications for the Active Travel Fund.

Active Travel England was launched in January 2022 to manage the £710m Active Travel budget and to drive up the standards of Local Authority projects.

Further information on the process will be published shortly.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help improve cycle safety in Oxfordshire.

The Government is investing £2 billion over five years to deliver safer and better cycling infrastructure in communities across England. I would be very willing to meet and talk about the work of Active Travel England.

14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage passenger growth and support passenger capacity on the Oxford to Birmingham railway routes.

We welcome that passenger numbers are increasing on CrossCountry routes. It will be for the operator to undertake appropriate, cost effective marketing to promote and encourage passengers to travel on their services.

14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what date his Department plans to restore Cross Country Trains to two services per hour between Oxford and Birmingham.

We would expect Crosscountry to propose the reintroduction of services in future where they are likely to be revenue generative and can be delivered reliably as appropriate for the level of passenger demand.

4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the amount of Bus Recovery Grant funding issued in (a) England, (b) Oxfordshire and (c) each local authority in Oxfordshire.

The Bus Recovery Grant is a £226.5m scheme to support bus operators and Local Transport Authorities in England. Most of the funding available will be provided to commercial operators to support services, including those operating within Oxfordshire. The Department cannot provide a breakdown of the level of funding provided to operators in each area due to information being commercially sensitive.

I refer the Hon Member to a previous answer UIN 86153 which provides the Bus Recovery Grant funding allocated to Local Transport Authorities.

4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on extending the Bus Recovery Grant to (a) 1 October 2022 and (b) 31 December 2022.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department has worked closely with the bus sector to assess its financial needs. Officials are meeting regularly with bus operator and local authority representatives to understand the implications of the Bus Recovery Grant ending in April 2022 and are actively exploring the case for an extension of funding.

4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether an impact assessment has been produced regarding the withdrawal of Bus Recovery Grant funding on bus companies.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has provided unprecedented levels of financial support to the bus sector, with over £1.5bn in emergency funding and an additional £226.5m in recovery funding. The Department continues to work closely with the bus sector to assess its financial needs. Officials are meeting regularly with bus operator and local authority representatives to understand the implications of the Bus Recovery Grant ending in April 2022 and are actively exploring the case for any extension to funding. To further assist the sector in the short term, we are providing an additional £29m uplift to Bus Recovery Grant claimants this financial year.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the length of delays for road freight at the port of Dover.

The Department does not hold data on the length of time spent by hauliers waiting to board a ferry at Dover. The Port of Dover operates a ‘turn up and go service’ meaning HGVs will be placed on to the first available ferry when they arrive at the Port. There may be an occasion when hauliers have to wait which may be due to peak periods of traffic at the Port. The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) is responsible for traffic management in Kent.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 28 September 2021 to Question 51863, what recent progress has been made on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's plan to recruit 300 new driving examiners; and how many and what proportion of the examiners recruited as at July 2021 were actively conducting practical driving tests on a full-time basis as at 8 November 2021.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has an ongoing campaign to increase the number of examiners by recruiting around 300 driving examiners between 1 April 2021 and June 2022. As at 8 November 2021, 190 examiners have been recruited.

42 of these examiners that were recruited during this period were actively conducting practical driving tests on a full-time basis as at 8 November 2021. A total of 62 have completed training into driving test centres.

As a result of all previous recruitment campaigns, there are 75 people either attending, or booked to attend, their training between now and January 2022. There are 53 candidates who are at various stages of the pre-employment checks awaiting confirmation of start date.

A new exercise will launch w/c 15 November 2021 to recruit to maintain a continued pipeline of new entrants into training courses January / February 2022 onwards.

To support the recruitment campaign, the Agency is also exploring options to temporarily contract in experienced driving assessors from other road safety organisations to become driving examiners.

The DVSA has put a number of measures in place to increase practical driving tests and reduce waiting times. These include offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends).

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help support learner drivers who have passed their theory tests and have been unable to book a practical test before the expiry of their theory test certificate.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has a number of measures in place to increase the availability of practical driving tests. These include offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends).

The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. To support this campaign, the agency is exploring options to temporarily employ experienced driving assessors from other road safety organisations to become driving examiners.

Returning to seven tests a day per examiner in June allowed the DVSA to increase capacity across the national network by an average of 15,000 to 20,000 tests per month. The aim was to increase testing capacity as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

The DVSA has also published and promoted the top 10 reasons for failing the driving test, giving tips to candidates and instructors on how to avoid these faults. The DVSA is asking instructors to encourage their pupils to rearrange their test for a later date if they regularly make these mistakes during their lessons or private practice. The DVSA is also encouraging learners to practise driving on a variety of roads and in different conditions, so they are better prepared for their test. Helping learners to be fully prepared will give them a better chance of passing, meaning they could potentially avoid their theory test expiring.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting time for driving tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has a number of measures in place to increase the availability of practical driving tests. These include offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends).

The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. To support this campaign, the agency is exploring options to temporarily contract in experienced driving assessors from other road safety organisations to become driving examiners.

After lockdown, the DVSA returned to six tests per day (rather than seven) to ease examiners back into the workplace and to allow additional time between tests for COVID-secure measures to be carried out. From the 14 June, and following discussion with Public Health England, the DVSA returned to seven practical car tests, per day, per examiner in England, Scotland and Wales.

Returning to seven tests a day per examiner will allow the DVSA to increase capacity across the national network by an average of 15,000 to 20,000 tests per month. The aim is to increase testing capacity as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with stakeholders on reducing the backlog of driving licence applications.

The information requested in questions 58489 and 58490 is not readily available and can only be provided at disproportionate cost as it would involve scrutinising each application that is awaiting processing. Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has a rapid response corporate services team to engage key stakeholders, including trade associations. Formal four-weekly review meetings take place where stakeholders can raise issues/concerns and provide feedback from members. The DVLA has regular contact with key stakeholders to resolve issues and address concerns quickly. This includes providing information on timescales for processing applications, working to prioritise urgent applications where they are business-critical or employment is at risk and also provided a dedicated contact point for fuel companies to progress vocational licence applications.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average waiting time for (a) driving licence applications, (b) short-term medical driving licence applications and (c) applications to exchange a foreign driving licence for people in (i) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (ii) Oxfordshire and (iii). England in each of the last five years.

The information requested in questions 58489 and 58490 is not readily available and can only be provided at disproportionate cost as it would involve scrutinising each application that is awaiting processing. Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has a rapid response corporate services team to engage key stakeholders, including trade associations. Formal four-weekly review meetings take place where stakeholders can raise issues/concerns and provide feedback from members. The DVLA has regular contact with key stakeholders to resolve issues and address concerns quickly. This includes providing information on timescales for processing applications, working to prioritise urgent applications where they are business-critical or employment is at risk and also provided a dedicated contact point for fuel companies to progress vocational licence applications.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of outstanding (a) driving licence applications, (b) short-term medical driving licence applications and (c) applications to exchange a foreign driving licence from people in (i) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (ii) Oxfordshire and (iii) England.

The information requested in questions 58489 and 58490 is not readily available and can only be provided at disproportionate cost as it would involve scrutinising each application that is awaiting processing. Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has a rapid response corporate services team to engage key stakeholders, including trade associations. Formal four-weekly review meetings take place where stakeholders can raise issues/concerns and provide feedback from members. The DVLA has regular contact with key stakeholders to resolve issues and address concerns quickly. This includes providing information on timescales for processing applications, working to prioritise urgent applications where they are business-critical or employment is at risk and also provided a dedicated contact point for fuel companies to progress vocational licence applications.

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of safety cameras at level crossings that have been turned off and are still off in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency (i) since 1 January 2021 and (ii) to date.

No cameras deployed on level crossings within Oxfordshire or the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency have been switched off, or remain off, since 1 January 2021.

This reflects that the safety of users of level crossings in Oxfordshire and across the Network Rail estate are of paramount importance.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding his Department has allocated to each tier 1 local authority in South East England for cycling in each of the last five years.

On 7 February 2020, the Department published a detailed breakdown of annual investment in cycling and walking from 2016/17 to 2018/19 alongside the first report on progress made towards delivering the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). This includes information on how much funding each local authority received over that period. Copies of the report and other associated information are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investment-schedule-in-cycling-and-walking-interventions. An update including a detailed breakdown of annual investment in 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be published in due course. In the meantime, local authority allocations under the Active Travel Fund in 2020/21 are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emergency-active-travel-fund-local-transport-authority-allocations/emergency-active-travel-fund-total-indicative-allocations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department will publish the latest timetable for the construction of the Lodge Hill diamond junction of the A34 in Abingdon.

The Department is not in the lead on this project, which is being promoted and progressed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Highways England is working closely with OCC on the design and modelling of this interchange.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) deaths and (b) injuries on the B4044 in the last (i) six months, (ii) 12 months and (iii) five years.

The number of deaths and injuries in reported road accidents on the B4044 for the last 12 months and last 5 years for which data is available can be found in the tables below.

Casualties in reported road accidents by month and severity, on the B4044, 2019

Month

Fatalities

Injured casualties

January

0

0

February

0

0

March

0

3

April

0

0

May

0

0

June

0

1

July

0

2

August

0

1

September

0

1

October

1

0

November

0

0

December

0

0

Total

1

8

Source: DfT, STATS19

Casualties in reported road accidents by severity, on the B4044, 2015-2019

Year

Fatalities

Injured casualties

2015

0

14

2016

1

11

2017

0

5

2018

0

17

2019

1

8

Source: DfT, STATS19

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has received a bid from Oxfordshire City Council for a walking and cycling path on the B4044 as part of the tranche 2 emergency active travel fund.

Oxfordshire County Council’s bid for funding from tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund did not include a bid for funding for this particular scheme. Details of how this scheme is being taken forward can be found on Oxfordshire County Council’s website at https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/roadworks/major-current-roadworks/botley-road-phase-1 .

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for the future of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project.

The Government confirmed in March, as part of the second Road Investment Strategy, that further development of this scheme has been paused. This is while we consider how roads investment, alongside other transport investment, can best support the Government’s ambition for the Oxford to Cambridge Arc, and benefit people who live and work there.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 5 September 2019 to Question 28460 on A34: Oxfordshire, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) deaths and (b) injuries on the A34 in (i) 2018 and (ii) 2019.

The table below shows the number of fatalities and all casualties in reported road accidents on the A34 in Oxfordshire in 2018.

Number of fatalities and all casualties in reported road accidents on the A34 in Oxfordshire in 2018:

Fatalities

All casualties1

1

79

  1. All casualties include fatalities Source: DfT STATS19

Data for 2019 will be published on September 30 2020.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60658 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install more solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

As part of improving the sustainable performance of our estate, the Department is looking at the feasibility of introducing further renewables to support the decarbonisation process. All options for the introduction of renewables will be explored particularly where they can act as a replacement for systems/functions which currently rely on a fossil fuel source. The additional renewables will form part of our next estates operational sustainability strategy which is being developed to align with the latest Greening Government Commitments framework of targets and also the development of a trajectory towards Net Zero.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 59354 on Energy, what proportion of the electricity used by his Department's buildings in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2020 to date was produced by solar panels and wind turbines on those buildings.

The requested information is as follows:

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020 (to 31/03/20)

Renewables as % of total electricity consumption

0.18

0.14

0.13

0.13

0.13

0.14

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to allocate emergency covid-19 funding to providers of school transport that have reduced commercial viability as a result of social distancing regulations in (a) England, (b) Oxfordshire, (c) Oxford, and (d) Abingdon.

On 8 August, the Department for Transport announced a further funding package for bus operators with rolling funding at up to £27.3 million per week until a time when the funding is no longer needed. Also on 8 August the Department for Education announced a new £40 million funding package for local authorities to support home to school transport. This funding can be used for a variety of transport types/providers as appropriate, including coaches, bus vehicles, community transport vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles, and SEND (Special Educational Needs Disability) transport.

In addition, the Department for Transport has provided support and grants totalling £7.25 million to local authorities to develop a Travel Demand Management Plan to understand school and work travel patterns and ensure there is safe and sufficient transport for schools.

While the Government will do what we can to support local authorities, solutions must be locally led, with local authorities working closely with transport operators and schools/colleges to identify local area needs and decide the best way to increase capacity, while ensuring value for money of this new funding.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to use public transport capacity monitoring technology to help restore public confidence in the public transport network during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department maintains regular contact with transport operators on a range of issues affecting the network, including capacity and messaging during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The rail industry supported by government is taking a variety of approaches to keep passengers informed about what’s happening across the rail network. National Rail Enquiries (NRE) is making a range of real time updates available across its platforms based on operational train data provided by the train operators and industry systems. Additionally, the NRE Alert Me service as announced by the Secretary of State at a No10 press conference on May 23rd helps passengers to stagger their journeys and avoid busy hotspots on the rail network, allowing passengers to travel safely and maintain social distancing.

To manage the expected increased demand for public transport, the Department is seeking to provide travel demand management support to local authorities in England outside London. However, it is clear that solutions must be locally led between transport authorities and operators.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure public access to the Zipabout Passenger Connect service.

The Zipabout Passenger Connect service is freely available through the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) Alert Me service for anyone to sign up to via the website link (here: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/208333.aspx). The Department is working with NRE on increasing the visibility and promotion of the messaging service on the website and app.

Work is underway currently to consider how we can roll out similar services to users of other public transport.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Cycle and Walking Investment strategy funding has been allocated to the Oxford to Cambridge Arc since 2018.

Government funding for the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) includes ringfenced and non-ringfenced funds. On the 7th February 2020 the Department published the first CWIS report to parliament which provides details of the funding that has been made available to all local authorities for cycling and walking under various funding streams.

In 2018/19 the Oxford to Cambridge Arc local authorities received a total of approximately £2 million of ringfenced funding from the Access Fund, Bikeability and the Cycle Safety Fund. Bedford, Peterborough and Northamptonshire also received support to develop Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPS). Cycling and walking funding figures for 2019/20 are not yet available. In the current financial year, the Government is also providing £225 million of funding to combined authorities and local transport authorities under the Emergency Active Travel Fund: details of allocations to all authorities are available via gov.uk.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of cyclists killed as a result of poor quality roads in each of the last 10 years.

Contributory factors assigned by police officers do not assign blame for the accident to any specific road user, however they do provide some insight into why and how road accidents occur. They give an indication of which factors the attending officer thought contributed to the accident. Officers do not need to carry out a full investigation of the incident before allocating contributory factors; they usually use professional judgement about what they can see at the scene. Not all accidents are included in the contributory factor data; only accidents where the police attended the scene and reported at least one contributory factor are included.

The number of pedal cyclists killed in road accidents where a contributory factor of ‘Poor or defective road surface’ was reported, in Great Britain, between the years 2009 and 2018 can be found in the below table:

Pedal cyclist killed in accidents where contributory factor1 of 'Poor or defective road surface' was reported, Great Britain, 2009-2018

Year

Number of cyclists killed

2009

1

2010

6

2011

3

2012

3

2013

1

2014

1

2015

1

2016

4

2017

1

2018

3

Source: DfT, STATS19

1 Includes only those killed in accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

Poor or defective road surface

Includes any obvious road surface defect such as potholes and cracks. Also includes roads where a worn surface or poor skid resistance is thought to have contributed to the accident.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding from the public purse has been disbursed under the plug-in car grant scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme.

Number of grant payments of the Plug-in Car Grant in each financial year since the inception of the scheme in in 2010, and the amount of funding from the public purse which has been disbursed under the Plug-in car Grant Scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme are shown in the table below.

Programme

Year

Number of grant payments form PiCG

Payments form the public purse.

Plug-in car Grant

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 (YTD)

406 849 2320 4953 21768 37841 28964 47963 40382 46561* 113*

£2.0m £4.24m £11.6m £24.5m £108.5m £184.7m £99.1m £150.8m £123.8m £267.4m* £8.4m*

Totals

231850

£985.04m

*The number of individual grant payments and the amount of grant paid from 2019/20 and 2020/21 do not correlate well because there is a delay of up to 9 months between an order being placed on the Plug in Car Grant portal and the vehicle being delivered to the customer, at which point payment is made. Therefore, the number of grant payments (46,561) in 2019/20 will rise as orders for cars which were placed on the portal in FY19/20 are delivered to the customer. Total orders placed in 2019/20, including the 46561 for which payment has been made, were 98508.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have received grants through the plug-in car grant scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme.

Number of grant payments of the Plug-in Car Grant in each financial year since the inception of the scheme in in 2010, and the amount of funding from the public purse which has been disbursed under the Plug-in car Grant Scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme are shown in the table below.

Programme

Year

Number of grant payments form PiCG

Payments form the public purse.

Plug-in car Grant

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 (YTD)

406 849 2320 4953 21768 37841 28964 47963 40382 46561* 113*

£2.0m £4.24m £11.6m £24.5m £108.5m £184.7m £99.1m £150.8m £123.8m £267.4m* £8.4m*

Totals

231850

£985.04m

*The number of individual grant payments and the amount of grant paid from 2019/20 and 2020/21 do not correlate well because there is a delay of up to 9 months between an order being placed on the Plug in Car Grant portal and the vehicle being delivered to the customer, at which point payment is made. Therefore, the number of grant payments (46,561) in 2019/20 will rise as orders for cars which were placed on the portal in FY19/20 are delivered to the customer. Total orders placed in 2019/20, including the 46561 for which payment has been made, were 98508.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to add cycling statistics to the transport slide presented at the daily covid-19 press conferences; and when he plans to make that addition.

The slides at the daily Downing Street press conferences are kept under constant review.

The Department is continually gathering evidence from a variety sources in order to monitor changes in cycling levels.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment (a) his Department and (b) Highways England has made of the effect of covid-19 restrictions on the completion date for the Lodge Hill diamond interchange on the A34.

The Lodge Hill interchange is being progressed and developed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Highways England is working closely with OCC on the design and modelling of this interchange. The assessment of the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on the completion date for this project would be for OCC to comment on as scheme promoter.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to ensure that the transport and logistics industry is financially supported to safeguard the viability of businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the importance of safeguarding the viability of businesses in the transport and logistics sector. That is why the Government has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, worth £350 billion.

Bespoke interventions have been used to protect critical services across many forms of transport, including lifeline services for remote locations. Any such intervention to support specific businesses must represent value for money for the taxpayer.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made on the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the transport and logistics industry.

The Department continues to collect, receive and assess data about the transport and logistics industry. This includes in respect of the level of transport and logistics operations and labour availability. The effects of the pandemic have been substantial and varied across the industry.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to take steps to support taxi drivers unable to renew their licences due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is aware of concerns raised by the industry over potential delays to the renewal of taxi and private hire vehicle licences and will be looking at this further.

Those that are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week and have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. There is also a monthly advance available.

Those self-employed or who own a business and are concerned about not being able to pay tax bills because of COVID-19, they may be eligible for support through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

For small companies who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief who could provide relief; funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to issue guidance for local authorities on supporting taxi drivers who cannot renew their licences during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is aware of concerns raised by the industry over potential delays to the renewal of taxi and private hire vehicle licences and will be looking at this further.

Those that are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week and have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. There is also a monthly advance available.

Those self-employed or who own a business and are concerned about not being able to pay tax bills because of COVID-19, they may be eligible for support through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

For small companies who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief who could provide relief; funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department plans to make an announcement on the proposed construction of an A39 Camelford bypass.

The A39 Camelford bypass scheme proposal has been submitted for consideration under the Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme.

Officials are working with the Local Authority to support them as they develop the scheme. A decision regarding the scheme’s further development is due shortly.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the decision by Great Western Railway to withdraw from the easitNETWORK scheme on (a) traffic congestion, (b) air quality and (c) carbon emissions in (i) Oxfordshire and (ii) other counties.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has made to Great Western Railway on their decision to withdraw from the easitNETWORK scheme.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support schemes such as the easitNETWORK scheme that operates on Great Western Railway to encourage more people to use public transport instead of their car.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will host a meeting between representatives of (a) Great Western Railway, (b) easitNETWORK and (c) Honourable Members who represent constituents who use the easitNETWORK scheme to discuss how Great Western Railway could continue to participate in that scheme.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with local authorities in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020 on the viability of Ox-Cam Arc housing targets in the event that the Oxford-Cambridge expressway project is cancelled.

In developing a business case for the expressway, appropriate account has been taken of the housing growth that is already being planned in the area and both the Department and Highways England have engaged with local authorities across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc including about their local plans. We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Defence
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 217, when his Department will be able provide an update on whether the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will go ahead.

I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave on 7 January 2020 to Question UIN 217.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 221, if he will work with Highways England and Oxfordshire County Council to bring forward the completion of the A34 Lodge Hull junction upgrade to before early 2022.

Officials have been asked to facilitate discussions between Oxfordshire County Council and Highways England as they look at opportunities to help bring forward the current schedule for completion of the scheme.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what effect his Department's proposed review of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will have on the (a) timescale and (b) viability of the consultation process for the project planned by Highways England.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescale is for the delivery of the Lodge Hill diamond interchange on the A34 following recent delays by Highways England.

The A34 Lodge Hill junction upgrade is being progressed and developed by Oxfordshire County Council as the scheme promotor. I understand Highways England are working closely with the County to help develop the design and modelling for the upgrade. I believe the County are currently aiming to begin construction of the scheme in early 2021, subject to approval from Highways England, with completion in early 2022.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what effect his Department's planned review of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will have on the delivery of the Lodge Hill diamond interchange upgrade to the A34.

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project has no effect on Oxford County Council’s delivery of the Lodge Hill diamond interchange upgrade.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to consult the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the housing targets for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc in light of his Department's recent decision to review the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeline is for his Department's planned review of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of his Department's planned review of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he will accept the recommendations in the report by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council entitled COVID-19 and Occupational Impacts, published on 16 November 2022.

The department is advised by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC), an independent scientific body, on changes to the list of occupational diseases for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid.

Their report ‘COVID-19 and Occupational Impacts’ was published in November 2022, and recommended prescription for health and social care workers with five serious pathological complications following COVID-19 infection. The department is currently carrying out a detailed assessment of the report’s recommendations. Once this work is complete, the department will provide a formal response.

It would be premature therefore, at this stage, to give a view on the Council’s recommendations or their wider applicability to DWP policies.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations in the report by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council entitled COVID-19 and Occupational Impacts, published on 16 November 2022.

The department is advised by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC), an independent scientific body, on changes to the list of occupational diseases for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid.

Their report ‘COVID-19 and Occupational Impacts’ was published in November 2022, and recommended prescription for health and social care workers with five serious pathological complications following COVID-19 infection. The department is currently carrying out a detailed assessment of the report’s recommendations. Once this work is complete, the department will provide a formal response.

It would be premature therefore, at this stage, to give a view on the Council’s recommendations or their wider applicability to DWP policies.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

DWP follows the: Cabinet Office Guidance on Settlement Agreements, Special Severance Payments on Termination of Employment and Confidentiality Clauses, launched in 2015 and revised in 2019. The Government is clear that confidentiality clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

DWP does not hold confidentiality agreement data between the periods 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2020 but has been reporting this information to the Cabinet Office annually since 1 April 2020 following the revision to the guidance. DWP has not agreed any non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements in the financial years ending April 2021 and April 2022, nor the current financial year to date.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he plans to lay the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council command paper concerning Long Covid and occupation before Parliament.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, in its independent advisory capacity to the DWP on Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, has prepared a Command Paper - COVID-19 and Occupational Impacts. The paper has been submitted to the department for consideration and will be published as soon as practicable.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which Minister holds responsibility for the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

The responsibility for the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council is with the Department for Work and Pensions, Minister of State, Tom Pursglove MP.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claimants on legacy benefits had deductions made to their payments for third party debt deductions in May 2021.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of (a) employment and support allowance, (b) jobseeker's allowance, (c) income support and (d) pension credit claimants had deductions made to their payments by (i) categories of third party debt deductions, (ii) benefit overpayments and (iii) other types of deductions in May 2021.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average monetary value was for deductions made from (a) universal credit, (b) employment and support allowance, (c) jobseeker's allowance, (d) income support and (e) pension credit claimant’s payments by (i) categories of third party debt deductions, (ii) benefit overpayments and (iii) other types of deductions in May 2021.

The average deduction amount per claim by deduction type, for (a) Universal Credit, in May 2021 is provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Information for (b) (c) (d) (e) (i) (ii) (iii) is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. We seek to balance recovery of debt against not causing hardship for claimants and their families. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship, in order to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment or a temporary suspension, depending on their financial circumstances. The Department is not able to

change the rate of most Third Party deductions as these are set out in the regulations.

Advances are a claimant’s benefit entitlement paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment upfront. They ensure nobody has to wait for a payment in Universal Credit and those who need it are able to receive financial support as soon as possible. Claimants can receive up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit award if required, resulting in 25 payments over a 24-month period.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to resume face-to-face appointments at job centres in the next three months.

Throughout the pandemic, Jobcentres remained open for anyone who needed face-to-face support. From April, Jobcentres in England, Scotland and Wales returned to their pre-lockdown opening hours and restarted face-to-face appointments, in accordance with government guidelines.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the average waiting time from the point of application for a person to obtain a National Insurance number.

Demand for the National Insurance Number (NINo) service is currently high with the average time taken to process applications around 13 weeks. The Department is currently recruiting and training additional staff to reduce these waiting times.

The Department expedites NINo applications for those who require one in order to receive Social Security Benefits.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the £20 uplift in universal credit on levels of child poverty in (a) England and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the levels of child poverty in (a) England and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for Oxford West and Abingdon is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Oxford West and Abingdon and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020.

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of companies that have received workplace inspections in respect of covid-19 from the Health and Safety Executive to date.

HSE’s recording systems do not readily allow the number of companies inspected to be identified. To do so would require HSE officials to manually retrieve the data, which would incur disproportionate costs.

An estimate of the number of companies inspected can be derived from the number of COVID-19 spot checks carried out, although there will be instances where a company has been inspected more than once where they have multiple sites e.g. a construction company may have more than one of their construction sites inspected.

Since March 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has carried out a programme of interventions to check how businesses are implementing measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at their sites.

As at 15 April 2021, HSE has completed 194,641 COVID-19 spot checks.

Whenever HSE visits a workplace, irrespective of the purpose of the visit it always reviews COVID-19 control measures and if needed will take appropriate action to address any control failings.

Notes:

(i) Figures represent interventions across all sectors, including both public and private sector duty holders.

(ii) Figures were obtained from HSE’s live operational database and are subject to change, e.g., as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded onto the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) successful and (b) overall applications made to the Kickstart Scheme in Oxfordshire.

As of 18th March there was over 15,000 applications to the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme nationally.

We are not able to publish a breakdown of this information below regional level.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60659 on Renewable energy, what plans her Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

DWP is in the process of drafting and internally socialising its Carbon & Utilities Management Plan, covering 2020 to 2025 to meet the Greening Government Commitments targets and the UK Net Zero Carbon emissions trajectory. DWP’s approach is to reduce emissions utilising the Energy Management Hierarchy. With this in mind, and when the plan is agreed, we will commit to investigate opportunities to reduce site energy and building baseloads and where economics are favourable whilst using our Crown Commercial Services frameworks we will consider but not limit ourselves to the following renewable & low or zero carbon schemes:

1. District Heat Networks (DHNs)

We will commit to explore and work with UK city wide DHN developments to decarbonise the heat demand within our buildings.

2. Water/ground/air source heat pumps

We will commit to carry out Low or Zero Carbon studies where we instruct new builds and major refurbishments.

3. Photovoltaic and thermal installations

We will commit to exploring utilising our car parks and building rooftops for solar PV and solar thermal systems.

4. Wind generators

We will commit to reviewing our sites to assess the practicality of using wind turbine technology.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c) contract staff in her Department who claim universal credit.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave to question 28737 on 17 March 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when a Minister from her Department last visited a food bank on an official visit.

Ministers engage closely with food bank providers and I meet regularly with the Trussell Trust. The Secretary of State and I held an independent foodbank provider roundtable meeting on 12 February.

Ministers in the Department also visit food banks on a regular basis. The most recent official visit was made by Baroness Stedman Scott on 30 January. The Department has been respecting Governmental guidelines around non-essential travel but is maintaining close contact with its stakeholders until normal visits and roundtables can be resumed. This includes those in the food bank sector.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had their benefits capped since January 31st 2020; and how many of those caps were still in place on 1 June 2020.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to undertake a universal basic income pilot in Kingston upon Hull; and whether she has made an estimate of the timescale for the implementation of such pilots.

The Department for Work and Pensions does not have any plans to undertake a pilot of universal basic income (UBI).

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2023 to Question 4738 on Health Services: Disability, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the updated Accessible Information Standard is published as soon as possible.

NHS England is responsible for the review of the Accessible Information Standard (AIS) and its publication and remains committed to publishing the updated AIS as soon as possible. NHS England is working to both progress the documentation through the publication approval process as well as ensuring that, when published, the AIS and supporting documentation are available in accessible formats.

The Department is working closely with NHS England to ensure joint implementation of the updated AIS and receives periodic updates on progress. Following extensive engagement, with a specific focus on those with lived experience and the voluntary sector organisations that support them, NHS England has completed the review of the AIS and its associated documents. The review considered the effectiveness of the current AIS, how the standard is implemented and enforced in practice, and identified recommendations for improvement.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to help maintain the availability of (a) pharmacies and (b) medication.

The Department is closely monitoring changes to the pharmacy network to ensure access to the services they provide on behalf of the National Health Service. Access to services remains good with 80% of people in England living within 20 minutes walking distance of a pharmacy and twice as many pharmacies in the most deprived areas of the country. Patients can also choose to access NHS pharmaceutical services remotely through any of the approximately 400 internet pharmacies, who are contractually required to deliver medicines to patient home free of charge. Every three years, local authorities in England undertake pharmaceutical needs assessments for their areas to ensure provision continues to meet their population’s needs.

We have well-established processes for managing and mitigating medicine supply issues, which involve working with the pharmaceutical industry, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, NHS England, the devolved governments and others operating in the supply chain to help ensure patients have access to the treatments they need.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the age profile of midwives leaving NHS employment in (a) November 2023 and (b) each November since 2013.

The information requested is shown in the attached tables.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the age profile of the NHS midwifery workforce for (a) November 2023 and (b) each November since 2013.

The information requested is shown in the attached tables.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to ensure the NHS dentistry budget is fully used in the 2023-24 financial year.

From 1 April 2023 responsibility for commissioning primary care dentistry to meet the needs of the local population has been delegated to all integrated care boards (ICBs) across England. ICBs are responsible for identifying areas of need and to determine the priorities for investment.

NHS England has provided guidance for ICBs that requires dental funding to be ringfenced, with any unused resources re-directed to improve National Health Service dental access in the first instance. A schedule setting out the dental ringfence has been issued to ICBs. NHS England’s 2023/24 revenue finance and contracting guidance, which provides more detail, is available at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/2023-24-revenue-finance-and-contracting-guidance/

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of NHS dentists.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which was published on 30 June 2023, sets out the steps the NHS and its partners need to take to deliver a workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next five, ten and fifteen years. These include a 40% increase to dentistry undergraduate training places by 2031/32. To support this ambition, we will expand places by 24% by 2028/29, taking the overall number that year to 1,000 places.

We have recently taken steps to streamline registration of overseas-trained dentists, including legislation to enable the General Dental Council to improve its international registration processes, and streamlining the process for overseas dentists to join the Dental Performers List and start working in the NHS.

Furthermore, we are currently working on a plan for dentistry to improve access to dental care across England. Our plan will build upon the first package of reforms agreed in July 2022 and will address making NHS work more attractive to ensure dentists are incentivised to deliver more NHS care.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) dentists and (b) dental care professionals from overseas were registered (i) between March 2022 and March 2023 and (ii) since March 2023.

The General Dental Council (GDC) is the independent regulator of dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs) practising in the United Kingdom and enforces the standards they must adhere to. In order to practise in the UK, dentists and DCPs are required to hold registration with the GDC.

The Department does not hold data on how many dentists and DCPs have been registered with the GDC. Data on the registration of dentists and DCPs with the GDC is held by the GDC.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is providing for work on a pancreatic cancer vaccine; and what his Department's timeline is for clinical trials of the vaccine.

The Government is supporting the development of cancer vaccines. Through the Cancer Mission we announced £22.5 million funding for immune-based cancer therapies, including cancer vaccines, targeted to a patient’s specific cancer, and for early cancer diagnostics.

In addition, the NHS England Cancer Vaccine Launchpad was created this year to support the delivery of cancer vaccine trials across England, enabling more patients to access trials for these groundbreaking therapies. While the Department does not have timelines for pancreatic cancer vaccine trials specifically, this pathway will seek to support such trial activity.

4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the reasons for trends in the level of demand for hormone replacement therapy medication.

No specific assessment on trends has been made. The demand for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been increasing over time. Total use of HRT across the four main product categories (orals, gels, patches and pessaries) has increased to nearly 800,000 patients each month, and the rate of increase has accelerated post-lockdown. Since the end of the last lockdown, nearly two years ago, monthly patient numbers in these categories have more than doubled (108% increase).

The increase in demand for HRT is likely to be due to a range of factors, including media and parliamentary campaigning, increased public awareness, and Government interventions aimed at improving access to menopause care and HRT. This includes the introduction of the HRT prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) to improve access to HRT. It enables women to pay a one-off charge equivalent to two single prescription charges, currently £19.30, for all listed HRT prescriptions for a year. Between the launch on 1 April and 14 June, there were 253,445 applications for the HRT PPC.

Menopause is a priority within the Women’s Health Strategy and the Government and National Health Service are implementing a programme of work to improve access to menopause care so that all women can access the support they need, including HRT.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the impact of her Department's policy of prescribing alternative hormone replacement therapy medication when preferred medication is unavailable on the ability of menopausal women to manage changes in side-effects and drug interactions.

Clinicians are responsible for making prescribing decisions for their patients, working with them to decide on the course of treatment, with the provision of the most clinically appropriate care for the individual always being the primary consideration.

Serious shortages protocols (SSPs) are developed with input from expert clinicians but are only considered in exceptional circumstances. An SSP enables community pharmacists to supply a specified medicine or device in accordance with a protocol rather than a prescription, with the patient’s consent and without needing to seek authorisation from the prescriber.

Patient safety is a key factor in deciding whether to use an SSP to manage a shortage. As well as being agreed upon by clinical experts, every draft SSP is reviewed by NHS England’s National Medical Director and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, who can suggest amendments and exclusions and raise any potential safety concerns about the SSP. At no point in the operation of the SSP policy has the Department yet received or been made aware of any concerns or negative effects on patient safety as a result of an SSP being in place.

All SSPs include a section on those patients who are excluded from being supplied in accordance with the SSP. Pharmacists must also use their professional judgement to decide whether it is appropriate for any patient to be supplied in accordance with an SSP. In addition, patients must consent to be supplied in accordance with an SSP. In the event that either the pharmacist or patient has any concerns, the pharmacist must refer the patient back to their prescriber, as would happen if an SSP was not in place.

20th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to recruit and retain (a) pharmacists and (b) pharmacy prescription checkers.

The Department closely monitors the market to ensure people in England have good access to National Health Service pharmaceutical services. Despite the increase in pharmacy closures seen in recent years, there are a similar number of pharmacies to ten years ago and 80% of the population live within 20 minutes’ walking distance of a pharmacy.

Every three years local authorities in England undertake pharmaceutical needs assessments for their areas to ensure provision continues to meet their population’s needs. The number of pharmacist training places annually is uncapped. In England, each year around 2,500 pharmacists enter training and the net increase in pharmacists practicing across all sectors is around 1,400 per year since 2016. NHS England are also investing £15.9 million to increase the number of pharmacy staff in primary and community care and develop skills in the existing workforce.

We have commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan for the next 15 years. This plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff, with the right skills, to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

20th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made made of the potential impact of pharmacy closures in (a) England and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency on practising pharmacy services.

The Department closely monitors the market to ensure people in England have good access to National Health Service pharmaceutical services. Despite the increase in pharmacy closures seen in recent years, there are a similar number of pharmacies to ten years ago and 80% of the population live within 20 minutes’ walking distance of a pharmacy.

Every three years local authorities in England undertake pharmaceutical needs assessments for their areas to ensure provision continues to meet their population’s needs. The number of pharmacist training places annually is uncapped. In England, each year around 2,500 pharmacists enter training and the net increase in pharmacists practicing across all sectors is around 1,400 per year since 2016. NHS England are also investing £15.9 million to increase the number of pharmacy staff in primary and community care and develop skills in the existing workforce.

We have commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan for the next 15 years. This plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff, with the right skills, to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are being taken to (a) retain and (b) train and recruit dentists.

In July 2022, we announced a package of dental system improvements to increase access for National Health Service dental patients and make NHS dentistry more attractive to practices, including steps to support the dental workforce.

NHS England negotiated amendments to the NHS dental contract to ensure dentists are remunerated more fairly for providing complex treatment within current Band 2 treatments, and enabling better use of skill mix in NHS dental practices.

We have recently simplified the General Dental Council's (GDC) legislative framework for the registration of international dentists and dental care professionals to increase the dental workforce. The legislative changes came into force on 8 March 2023.

Training programmes for healthcare professionals must meet the standards set by the regulatory body for their profession. The standard of training for dentists is the responsibility of the GDC who set the outcome standards expected at undergraduate level and approve courses and Higher Education Institutions to write and teach the curricula content that enables their students to meet the regulators outcome standards

We will announce our plan for further reform of the NHS dental system shortly. To support the workforce as a whole, we have commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan for the NHS workforce for the next 15 years to ensure that we have the right numbers of staff with the right skills to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many dental practices in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency are not accepting new NHS patients.

On 25 November 2022 we introduced a contractual responsibility for National Health Service dentists to keep their NHS.UK profiles up to date so that patients can find a dentist more easily. Practices are required to update their NHS.UK profiles at least once every 90 days, including information on whether they are accepting new patients. Information is available at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist

9th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to include active monitoring in cancer care planning.

NHS England is providing over £390 million in cancer service development funding to Cancer Alliances in each of the next two years to support the delivery of priorities in cancer, including working to ensure that every person receives personalised care and support from cancer diagnosis onwards.

The Government and the National Health Service are committed to ensuring that all cancer patients get access to a Holistic Needs Assessment and Personalised Care Interventions. These will ensure care focuses on what matters most to each person, whilst empowering them to self-manage where appropriate and providing a route back into the system if they notice any worrying changes or need to seek help.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to secure the supply chain of (a) progesterone and (b) other hormone replacement therapy medication.

We are aware of an issue with Utrogestan (progesterone) 100 milligram capsules, which will be in intermittent supply until late 2023. The supplier is taking steps to increase supply and we continue to work closely with them to monitor and drive progress. In the meantime, we have issued a Serious Shortage Protocol which allows pharmacists to dispense a maximum of two months’ supply per prescription, to help support access to available stock.

There are over 70 hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products available in the United Kingdom and the vast majority are in good supply. We are regularly engaging with individual suppliers to prevent and mitigate supply issues in the short and long term. The HRT supply position has improved considerably since last Spring. Suppliers’ responses to our calls for action to boost production in response to growing demand are having an effect. For example, the introduction of a new manufacturing facility for Oestrogel has meant that this product is now readily available for patients. Only two of the 22 Serious Shortage Protocols issued since April last year remain as the supply disruptions with most products experiencing shortages have been resolved.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of ending the covid-19 (a) special leave and (b) sick pay provisions for NHS staff on 1 September 2022.

The Department introduced temporary non-contractual COVID-19 sickness guidance at the start of the pandemic, to ensure National Health Service staff received full pay should they be advised to self-isolate or become ill with COVID-19. As we learn to live with COVID-19, we have withdrawn this guidance. Staff who were on COVID-19 sickness pay have moved back to the normal terms and conditions (T&Cs) sickness arrangements. The NHS T&Cs pay up to six months full pay and six months half pay depending on length of service.

We have completed an equalities assessment which concluded that the withdrawal of the guidance is considered to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim to equalise treatment of all staff with longer-term sickness absence.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make more funding available to research the occupational impacts of Long Covid.

Over £50 million has already been invested in post COVID-19 syndrome research projects to improve our understanding of the diagnosis and underlying mechanisms of the disease and the effectiveness of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies and interventions, as well as to evaluate clinical care.

There are no plans for an assessment of the adequacy of research funding for post COVID-19 syndrome and/or occupational disease.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including occupational disease and post COVID-19 syndrome. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment with Cabinet colleagues of the adequacy of Government funding for research into (a) occupational disease and (b) the (i) causes and (ii) effects of Long Covid.

Over £50 million has already been invested in post COVID-19 syndrome research projects to improve our understanding of the diagnosis and underlying mechanisms of the disease and the effectiveness of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies and interventions, as well as to evaluate clinical care.

There are no plans for an assessment of the adequacy of research funding for post COVID-19 syndrome and/or occupational disease.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including occupational disease and post COVID-19 syndrome. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of support for healthcare workers suffering from Long Covid.

No assessment has been made. NHS England has invested £314 million to date to provide care for people with post COVID-19 syndrome.

A range of support is available for National Health Service staff who are experiencing symptoms of post COVID-19 syndrome, which includes training and guidance for teams and leaders as well as access to occupational health and local Employee Assistance Programmes.

2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding was allocated to an advertising campaign promoting the covid-19 vaccination programme for 2023.

Campaign funding for promoting the COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2023 has not yet been confirmed.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department allocated for a communications campaign to promote the seasonal booster programme for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 2022/23 campaign to promote uptake of seasonal flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations had a media spend of £3.02 million. This was an integrated winter vaccinations campaign and so it is not possible to split out the spend by vaccine.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) non-disclosure and (b) other confidentiality agreements relating to (i) employment, (ii) bullying, (iii) misconduct and (iii) harassment cases have been agreed by their Department in each year since 1 January 2010; and how much money from the public purse has been spent on (A) legal costs and (B) financial settlements for such agreements in each year since 1 January 2010.

The Department does not hold any records of non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements between 2010 and 2013. Between 2014 and 2022, there were no non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. While the Department paid £13,013 in settlement payments during this period, we are unable to provide the information in the format requested as it relates to personal information and could identify the individuals concerned.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many radiographer vacancies there are in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) England as of 2 September 2022; what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of these vacancies on health services; and what steps his Department is taking to help (i) recruit and (ii) retain radiographers in the NHS.

The information requested on the number of radiographer vacancies is not held centrally.

Health Education England (HEE) is working with NHS England on the recovery and renewal of diagnostics services, including the development of community diagnostic centres and staffing models. This includes new roles and routes into areas such as imaging and is led by a joint HEE and NHS England diagnostic workforce board.

HEE has expanded clinical radiology training placements by 110 in 2020 and 2021, with a total of 333 entry places in 2021. This also allowed an increase in posts in interventional radiology by 20. The enhancement of skills within radiography image interpretation and reporting has seen the development of 150 reporting radiographers annually since 2018.

The NHS People Plan focuses on improving the retention of National Health Service staff through staff health and wellbeing, more support for flexible working and a commitment to tackling inequality. In addition, the NHS Retention Programme aims to understand why staff leave, resulting in targeted interventions to support staff to stay.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of availability of bereavement support services in (a) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (b) Vale of White Horse, (c) Oxford City, (d) Cherwell and (e) Oxfordshire.

No formal assessment has been made. Bereavement services in Oxfordshire are commissioned by the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board. These include Talking Space, delivered by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of officials in his Department involved in recording retained EU legislation for the purposes of the Retained EU Law Dashboard in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the cost to the public purse of recording that information.

Between November 2021 and May 2022, 10 Departmental officials were involved in this activity.

There has been no additional non-pay cost to the public purse by creating the dashboard. The process was led by the Cabinet Office, which commissioned Government Departments to find Retained European Union Law (REUL) within its legislation and compile where REUL exists in the United Kingdom’s statutes.

The dashboard has been established by the Government Strategic Management Office and is hosted on Tableau Public, which is a free platform for hosting public dashboards. The dashboard will continue to be updated at no additional cost.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing third sector contractors carrying out NHS contracts with free lateral flow covid-19 test kits.

Free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing is available in the health sector based on clinical risk factors. Those who regularly work with National Health Service patients are eligible for free lateral flow tests through the staff testing programme. This includes individuals not directly employed by a NHS organisation, such as volunteers in vaccination centres in patient-facing roles. The decision on whether a role is patient-facing is made locally.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has instructed his Department to preserve evidence for the inquiry into the Government's handling of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is undertaking the appropriate preparatory work ahead of the final Terms of Reference for the Inquiry being announced.

Well-established records management processes are in place across Government and all Departments are aware of the need to keep a full and clear record of their part in events. This includes the decisions they take, the process by which those decisions were reached, the reasons for those decisions and the evidence and data used to support them.

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement from the MHRA of 17 March 2022 on Evusheld, how long Evusheld will take to manufacture; when it will be available; and how people will be prioritised to receive it.

Any public announcement on the procurement of therapeutics would be made after an agreement is reached with companies, as this information is commercially sensitive. The Department continues to examine the potential introduction of prophylaxis, which includes deployment and administration processes. Any such therapeutic treatment must provide evidence that it is clinically cost-effective, does not contribute to the generation of new variants and demonstrate sufficient efficacy against Omicron and new variants.

The Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel is providing advice on the most appropriate patient cohorts for new COVID-19 therapeutics, including preventive treatments such as Evusheld. Final clinical policies and eligibility would be determined by the National Health Service and the devolved administrations.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the funding provided by Government for research into an agreed paediatric definition of Long Covid; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of that funding.

No specific assessment has been made. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including post- COVID-19 syndrome. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. In all disease areas, the NIHR’s funding is dependent on the volume and quality of scientific activity.

The NIHR and UK Research and Innovation have awarded £1.36 million over three years for a study ‘Children and young people with Long Covid: CLoCK’, by University College London and Great Ormond Street’s Institute of Child Health. The NIHR awarded a further £468,661 to the study to support additional recruitment and further analyses. The study’s three-month findings were recently published in the Lancet at the following link:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(22)00022-0/fulltext

Further findings will be published shortly.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the potential merits of extending the covid-19 booster vaccination programme in Spring 2022 to (a) NHS staff and (b) people over the age of 50.

We have regular discussions with stakeholders on a range of issues related to the COVID-19 vaccination programme. On 21 February 2022, the Government accepted the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to offer a further dose to those aged 75 years old and over, residents in care homes for older adults and the immunosuppressed. The primary aim is to reduce the risk of severe disease in the population therefore the most vulnerable groups have been prioritised for vaccination in the spring programme. The JCVI continues to consider the latest available data on the timing and value of any further doses.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will supply a decision on behalf of the Government on each of the 25 recommendations made by the select committee on Health and Social Care in its Eighth Report, Children and Young People's Mental Health, HC 17, published on 9th December 2021; and if he will make a statement on that matter at the first available opportunity.

We welcome the Committee’s report. In our response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report, we set out where we agreed with its recommendations or where we are taking forward the recommendations in part or in full. We will be considering the recommendations in full during the development of a new long term cross-Government plan for mental health. We are launching a wide-ranging discussion paper and call for evidence to support development of the plan. The Committee’s inquiry and evidence from witnesses will be considered during this process.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 119799, tabled on 7 February 2022 by the hon. Member for Oxford West and Abingdon.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 119799.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)